A significant 86 percent of younger Americans have visited a library in person at some point in their lives, 58 percent in the last year. (Sixty-five percent of young adults have library cards, the researchers found.) Almost half of the younger demographic (48 percent) have accessed a library Web site, 28 percent in the last year. And, according to the research, 18 percent have accessed a library Web site using a mobile device in the last year.
In the older age group, those figures vary. Among those aged 30 to 49, 87 percent have visited a library at some point in their lives, and 59 percent have done so in the last year. However, in the 50- to 64-year-od demographic, that falls to 82 percent who have ever visited a library and 51 percent who have done so in the last year. Among the 65-plus crowd, only 78 percent have ever visited a library, and only 40 percent have done so in the last year.
Younger people also tend to use their library facilities more fully, according to the research. All age groups tend to use the library for browsing and borrowing books about equally. A little less than three-quarters of all Americans who have been to the library in the last 12 months have done those activities…
The researchers also asked younger Americans what they think libraries should definitely offer in terms of services.
The vast majority said libraries should coordinate with schools more and offer free literacy programs (87 percent in both cases).
Other services younger Americans said libraries should implement:
- Have more comfortable spaces (64 percent);
- Separate spaces for different services (57 percent);
- Offer a broader selection of e-books (54 percent); and
- Offer more interactive learning experiences (53 percent).
Only 44 percent said libraries should definitely move most of their services online, and 41 percent said libraries should make most services automated. Forty-one percent also said libraries should help users digitize materials.