Monday, December 29, 2014

More Information = More Learning

There's an ongoing discussion about how much information is too much information. Information overload is a topic that is talked about more than ever with more and more people accessing the internet. But is this true? Are people becoming overloaded with information, receiving it nonstop, especially with the advent of smart phones? According to a study at USC Marshall, Americans will consume 1.7 trillion hours of traditional and digital media.

The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project looked into this recently and published their results. The Internet & American Life Project, "is directed by Lee Rainie and is part of the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world."

Even with the growth of information that people are consuming, it does not seem that there is an overload. About 87% of the people surveyed felt that the internet has improved their ability to learn new things. Along with this, the Pew Research Center has asked the American public if digital technology has had a positive impact since 2000, and every year the answer has come back positive.

 percentage of people that feel internet helps them be better informed  from Pew study 
The survey also shows that people believe that the internet is allowing the sharing of ideas easier, which is having a positive impact on their learning. Public libraries are often the only or best place to access the internet for many communities. Tapping into the ability to share information, to learn, and to create offers unlimited potential for so many. In another recent Pew study, people shared that the traditional materials offered still play a central role for public libraries, but people are also very interested and curious to see what technological services public libraries can offer.

We look forward to see what other reports come from Pew Research Center, which gathers and evaluates thoughts and comments of the public.