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Pew Research Center study reveals library habits for younger Americans

E-Book Reader
E-Book Reader
Fingermedium via Getty Images

Contrary to the perception or stereotype of younger Americans you be surprised where they like to spend their time. In a new report published by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project Tuesday, the results suggested that Americans between the ages of 16 to 29 appreciate the use of the library premises for various activities.

At a time of increase use of digital resources, digital technology you would believe that libraries would be an archaic place. According to the study about three quarters or 75 percent of people under the age of 30 had read a least one book in print within the past year compared to 64 percent of adults ages 30 and older.

“Similarly, younger Americans’ library usage reflect a blend of traditional and technological services. Americans under age 30 are just as likely as older adults to visit the library, and once there they borrow print books and browse the shelves at similar rates. Large majorities of those under age 30 say it is “very important” for libraries to have librarians as well as books for borrowing, and relatively few think that libraries should automate most library services, move most services online, or move print books out of public areas,” according to the Pew Research Center.

What is possible for the increase in usage of the library space is the gradual conversion and the migration of information into the digital space. Providing wireless internet, computers with internet connections and other various academic digital resources will leave intact this valuable resource.

Younger Americans are outperforming their older counterparts when it comes to frequently dropping by the library. About 67 percent under the age of 30 will have visited such a place compared to just 62 percent of adults ages 30 and above.

Below is a list of findings between the physical use of the library space and its relationship with the digital resources:

  • Online: Almost all those in the 16-29 age group are online, and they are more likely than older patrons to use libraries’ computer and internet connections, access library websites, and use a library’s research databases.”
  • On paper: However, younger Americans are also more likely than older adults to have read a printed book in the past year: 75% of younger Americans have done so, compared with 64% of older adults.”
  • On-site: Younger adults are also more likely than their elders to use libraries as quiet study spaces. Moreover, they are just as likely as older adults to have visited libraries, borrowed printed books, and browsed the stacks of books.”

The research is underwritten by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Exactly 2,252 Americans ages 16 and above were surveyed for this study between Oct. 15 to Nov. 10, 2012. The analysis was administered half on home telephones, half on mobile phones and in English or Spanish.

For a complete review of the comprehensive report please click here.


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