While previous studies have shown the majority of Americans cite libraries as a vital public resource in their communities, those same studies cited an alarming fact: Americans simply don’t use their libraries. Fortunately, their luck is about to change. New survey results from the Pew Research Center have found that millenials are stepping up in a big way and taking advantage of what public libraries have to offer.
According to their report, “…survey data from fall 2016 finds that 53% of Millennials (those ages 18 to 35 at the time) say they used a library or bookmobile in the previous 12 months. That compares with 45% of Gen Xers, 43% of Baby Boomers and 36% of those in the Silent Generation. (It is worth noting that the question wording specifically focused on use of public libraries, not on-campus academic libraries.) All told, 46% of adults ages 18 and older say they used a public library or bookmobile in the previous 12 months – a share that is broadly consistent with Pew Research Center findings in recent years.”
While millenials are busy helping libraries rack up the numbers they need to keep their doors open, Pew uncovered some other demographic statistics about who is actually coming in the doors or checking out their books from the virtual shelves.
- Women are more likely than men to say they visited a public library or bookmobile in the past 12 months (54% vs. 39%). And women are similarly more likely to use library websites (37% vs. 24%).
- College graduates are more likely than those whose education ended with a high school diploma to use libraries or bookmobiles in the past 12 months (56% vs. 40%). And a similar gap applies to use of library websites.
- Parents of minor children are more likely than non-parents to have used a library in the past 12 months (54% vs. 43%).
For the complete data on Pew’s findings surrounding libraries, check out the results by clicking here.