Young adults are the heaviest adult users of public libraries, despite the ease with which they can access a wealth of information over the Internet from the comfort of their homes, according to a new study.
That was the opening paragraph from an article that appeared in today’s Raleigh News & Observer, attributed to Anick Jesdanun of The Associated Press. According to the article, 21% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 30 have turned to their public libraries for information, as opposed to only 12% of the general adult population.
The data comes from a joint study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project and the University of Illinois at Urbanna-Champaign, and indicates that younger adults go to their libraries for “Education-related tasks,” including making decisions about schooling, getting job training. The study also found that Library use drops gradually as the ages increase, with a fairly sharp decline at around 50 years of age.
Lee Rainie, Pew’s director, said, “It was truly surprising in this survey to find the youngest adults are the heaviest library users.”
Wren, 31 Dec 2007. “The Endless Library.” H. Wren’s Photostream. 14 May 2005. <http://flickr.com/photos/hypowren/13897466/>.