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DaVinci Coders
July 2nd, 2013 at 8:50 am

Younger Americans are reading books and visiting libraries after all: Study

“Younger Americans’ reading habits and library use are still anchored by the printed page.”

Younger Americans no longer visit public libraries and have all but abandoned paper books in favor of digital media has been the stereotype for a while. But in reality, young Americans are actually more likely than older Americans to have read a printed book in the past year and are more likely than their elders to use a library.

 

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Those are the somewhat surprising findings of a new study released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project.

“Younger Americans’ reading habits and library use are still anchored by the printed page,” report co-author Kathryn Zickuhr said in a statement.

“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.”

There’s no surprise that nearly all of the people surveyed ages 16 to 29 were online and were more likely than older patrons to use a library’s computers and other technology.

However, 75 percent of those younger Americans have read a printed book in the past year, compared to 64 percent of older adults. And 85 percent of 16 and 17 year olds have read at least one printed book in the past year.

Most Americans under 30 believe it is “very important” for libraries to keep librarians and printed books instead of replacing them with automated and online services, the study said. Only 23 percent favored moving book stacks to make room for tech centers and meeting rooms.

Moreover, 60 percent of younger patrons said they visit libraries because they were quiet places to read, study, watch or listen to media, compared to only 45 percent of library patrons aged 30 and over, the study said.

Meanwhile, 44 percent of library patrons under 30 have used a library’s computers, Internet access, compared with 27 percent of those older than 30.

And 67 percent of younger patrons said they were interested in a digital media lab, where visitors can create and upload new digital content.

Photo credit: Your Norfolk

Via SFGate

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