New Pew Report Highlights Teens and Younger Adults’ Library Habits and Expectations

Library books, library databases, library spaces — individuals aged 16-29 are more likely than their elders to use all three, according to the latest Pew Internet and American Life report on young Americans’ relationships with libraries, released today. And, hearteningly, more than eighty percent of this age group believe it is very important to have professional librarians help individuals find the information they need.

The study provides lots of data to confirm that young people “born with the chip” perceive libraries as important parts of their community and their information ecology, including’ the persistence of physical books and resistance to shifting resources online.

“Younger Americans’ reading habits and library use are still anchored by the printed page,” said Kathryn Zickuhr, research analyst at the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project and, with Kristen Purcell and Lee Raine, report co-author. “Some of this stems from the demands of school or work, yet some likely lies in their current personal preferences. And this group’s priorities and expectations for libraries likewise reflect a mix of traditional and technological services.”

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28 Days of Teens & Tech #19: Database Mobility

For months now, School Librarian and SLJ blogger, Joyce Valenza, has been raving about Cengage Gale’s iPhone appAccess My Library,” ‘ which allows students and other library users access to their library’s Gale subscription databases.

But Cengage Gale is not the only vendor in the mobile marketplace. ‘ Other library reference services are also available on mobile devices. These services may not have “apps” per se, but they often provide a version of their resources that is more accessible to users on the go.

Here are some of the subscription services with mobile offerings:

Have you made sure your library is set up to take advantage of these great resources? If your library pays for this service, make sure you get your full money’s worth! Then, once you’ve contacted your customer support services and improved your mobility, don’t forget to spread the word to your teens via email, QR codes, facebook, twitter, etc. ‘ And if you want to get your own library mobile, you can check this blog post for more suggestions.

I’m sure I’ve missed some other mobile reference tools, so what else is out there? Does your library have a mobile presence? ‘ Tell us: How have you shared the great news of library mobility with your teens?

Be It Resolved

Recently I saw the documentary Resolved which is about high school public policy debating and specifically two teams of debaters, one from an Illinois suburb and one from inner-city Los Angeles. During the movie I learned that public policy debate between high school students is not at all what I thought it was. For the past several decades it’s been about fast talking – and I mean really fast talking – and rapid information processing more than focusing on gaining a strong understanding of a particular issue. (Part of the movie focuses on the two teens from L.A. trying to change debate from the fast-talking fast-processing style to something more traditional. But, that aspect of the documentary is not the focus of this post.)


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