We already know this just by looking at our users and what they are needing - but a study often helps make our case!
Studies of a more qualitative nature have focused on the prevalence of patrons using the public library’s online resources to engage in vital economic activities. The fact that the majority of America’s leading retailers now require potential hourly employees to submit applications electronically and that most public libraries report being the only source of free Internet access in their communities means that many job seekers who do not have Internet access at home turn to the library.
A recent American Library Association (ALA) study found “greatly increased” use of libraries’ electronic resources in job-hunting. This study echoed what many news outlets have reported anecdotally in the wake of the current economic downturn. Another ALA study reported increased use of library computing resources to access e-government services, such as online applications for unemployment benefits. Library staff often assist patrons in these efforts.