Released: June 25, 2013

Pew Survey Shows Power of Print

In its last library-related survey, researchers at the Pew Research Center found that Americans ages 16-29 are heavy technology users—no surprise there. The big surprise, however, is that despite their comfort with technology, most young Americans still read and borrow printed books, and value libraries and library services.

“Even in an age of increasing digital resources, those in this under-30 cohort are more likely than older Americans to use and appreciate libraries as physical space—places to study for class, go online, or just hang out,” notes a new Pew report on younger Americans library habits. Large majorities of younger patrons say it is “very important” for libraries to have librarians and books for borrowing, and relatively few think that libraries should automate most library services or move most services online.


“Younger Americans’ reading habits and library use are still anchored by the printed page,” said Kathryn Zickuhr, research analyst at the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and a co-author of the new report about younger Americans’ relationships with libraries. “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.

Read the story at