January 20, 2022

South Korea: “Fewer University Students Use Libraries”

Comment from Gary Price, infoDOCKET Founder/Editor:

What the article linked out doesn’t point out is an issue that we’ve talked about for years.

While some people are not visiting a physical library facility, many electronic resources with material a university student might want to access are provided VIA the university library.

In other words, the library community (and partners) need to do a better job (globally) in getting people to understand that their library and library usage is more than a building and library resources (including speaking with a librarian) are available to them 24x7x365 from anywhere an Internet connection is available. Sadly, for some people, libraries still represent and only represent print books.

Of course, another issue is that it’s likely many students have little to no idea of what their library has to offer electronically via the Internet.

From The Korea Times:

Kim Min-jin, 25, who attends a university in Seoul, used to go to the school library to browse books or to do coursework at least once a month when she was a freshman. But now, Kim rarely goes to the library. Instead, she simply turns to the Internet to download digital books and reports available.

“Most of the reading material is up online, so I don’t find it necessary to go to libraries now,” Kim told The Korea Herald. “I prefer to download material from an e-library as it is easier for me refer to when I write up a report.”


Latest statistics show that Kim is one of an increasing number of university students who rely more on the Internet than school libraries to do research and access books.

According to a report on students’ usage of libraries by the Korea Education & Research Information Service, students borrowed 7.4 books per person on average in 2015.

This has been dropping for five years. The average number of books per person was 10.3 in 2011, 9.6 in 2012, 8.7 in 2013 and 7.8 in 2014, according to the report.

Read the Complete Article from The Korea Times

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.