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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