Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Youth and Libraries

Courtesy of Vancouver Public Library/Creative Commons License
The Pew Research Center has published a study about the reading and library use habits of people between the ages of 16 and 29.  It might surprise many people who DON'T use the library to find out that this 16-29 age group DOES use the library!  For those of us who work in public libraries however, this should not be a great surprise.

Walk around the Hutchinson Public Library in the afternoons and you will see many teens and young adults using our library.  We often have a variety of home school students and community college students using our resources.  If you stop to think about it though, it makes sense.  I think many of the folks who "marvel" at the opportunities provided by the Internet, e-content, smartphones and tablets are people who didn't grow up with them.  Those younger people who have grown up in an Internet world see the library / physical materials / librarians as a few of the tools among many options, but tools that are of value nonetheless.

Libraries must evolve to provide the services and resources that people find useful.  I think that is happening and I think that the Pew Center study gives us an indication that we are on the right track.

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