September 15, 2014

Pew report finds that Millennials use libraries as much as their elders, and read more

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Thumbs up! Milennials love reading and giving the thumbs up sign. (via Shutterstock)

Thumbs up! Millennials love reading and giving the thumbs up sign. (via Shutterstock)

A Pew report pulling together years of research found that American millennials (defined as ages 16-29) use libraries as much as their elders (but are less engaged), and are more likely to have read a book in the last year.

Some of the major findings of the report include:

  • Millennials are quite similar to their elders when it comes to the amount of book reading they do, but young adults are more likely to have read a book in the past 12 months.  
  • As a group, Millennials are as likely as older adults to have used a library in the past 12 months, and more likely to have used a library website. 
  • As with the general population, most younger Americans know where their local library is, but many say they are unfamiliar with all the services it may offer

Although the study shows that Millenials are more likely to use a library (or a library’s website), they downplay the importance to their lives. “Despite their relatively high use of libraries, younger Americans are among the least likely to say that libraries are important. Some 19% of those under 30 say their library’s closing would have a major impact on them and their family, compared with 32% of older adults, and 51% of younger Americans say it would have a major impact on their community, compared with 67% of those 30 and older.”

Non-millenials (their elders, if you must), are — somewhat jarringly — more likely to believe that all important information can be found on the internet, while being less likely to believe that not having access to the internet puts one at a disadvantage.

The full report can be found here.

 

Julia Fleischaker is a former director of marketing and publicity at Melville House.

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