From BookNet Canada:
What has been the impact of COVID-19 on book borrowing? In the first half of 2021, 40% of Canadians said that COVID impacted their book borrowing, slightly more than for book buying (36%).
Let’s take a deeper look using the results from the Canadian Book Consumer survey, a quarterly survey conducted by BookNet Canada querying Canadians about their book behaviour. The online survey was fielded primarily in May and July 2021 to 4,936 English-speaking Canadians who met our screening criteria.
About eight in ten Canadians believe that it’s important for society to have public libraries for people to visit (82%), and 82% Canadians have a public library branch located near them. About three out of ten Canadians visited a library at least once in the first half of 2021 — 18% visited the library in person and 17% online. In terms of frequency of visits, 41% of Canadians visited a library at least once in 2020, mostly one to four times.
When asked why Canadians visited a physical library branch in the past month, the main reason was to pick up holds (28%). Other reasons were to find a specific book/author (18%), to browse (14%), to discover a new book/author (14%), and to put books/materials on hold (12%).
Less popular reasons were to study/work/research (8%), read magazines/newspapers (8%), use the computers/internet (8%), and to get a library card for themselves/someone else (6%). (For context, 62% of Canadians have a library card.)
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