About us

Background

The Impact Survey was the result of a successful research initiative from the University of Washington with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2009, the University of Washington Information School conducted Opportunity for All: How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries, which was the first large-scale investigation of the ways U.S. library patrons use computers and the Internet at public libraries, why they use it, and how it impacts their lives. The study included a national online survey that yielded over 45,000 responses and four library case studies. It also piloted a local library survey for individual communities.

Because the patron survey was such a success, a tested and validated web survey was made available to all U.S. public libraries. This particular effort has closed but future technology survey work will continue with other partners.