Magazine article Information Today

Digital Natives Want It All

Magazine article Information Today

Digital Natives Want It All

Article excerpt

Librarians all over the country may have noticed already that younger Americans are just as likely as their elders to visit a library to check out print material, and they're more likely to use the library as a physical space to spend time studying, hanging out, or going online. According to the recent Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project report titled "Younger Americans' Library Habits and Expectations," young library visitors are strong supporters of a mix between traditional and technological library services.

Far from abandoning print for digital, young Americans (ages 1629) are more likely to have read a printed book in the past year than older adults: 75% of young Americans report having done so, compared with 64% of adults older than 30.

Unsurprisingly, those in the 1629 age group are nearly all online, with 44% of them using the library's computers, internet, or public Wi-Fi, compared with just 27% for library visitors older than 30. Americans younger than 30 are also more likely to connect to library websites and access a library's research database.

"Younger Americans' reading habits and library use are still anchored by the printed page," notes Kathryn Zickuhr, research analyst at Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, in a press release. "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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