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Millennials Still Like Print Books!

Even in an age of smartphones, tablets and laptops, young folks (ages 16-29) are reading. A lot.

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Data from the Study

The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project put out a new report about “Younger Americans’ Library Habits and Expectations,” and—good news!—it turns out that even in an age of smartphones, tablets and laptops, young folks (ages 16-29) are reading. They’re reading a lot, and they’re even more likely to read print books than older generations. They also think that it is very important for libraries to have librarians. Imagine that.

Some of the more interesting findings indicate that younger Americans use print books and libraries more than tsk-tsking people over 30:

  • A greater share of younger Americans (75 percent)  than of adults 30 or older (64 percent)  have read a print book in the past year
  • Teens ages 16-17 are more likely than any other age group to have read a book in print in the past year
  • Younger Americans also use library websites more often than their elders
  • Also, they want libraries to provide free interent access
  • Only 1 in 4 read an e-book in 2012 

But will these statistics presage a resurgence in libraries? Library funding was on the chopping block during the recent recession, and New York City, announced recently that it would not go through with the $106 million in cuts to library spending. If younger Americans like using libraries, they may have to fight for them.

More from Smithsonian.com:

Young People Still Love Libraries
Texas’ New Library Won’t Have Any Books
Libraries’ Surprising Special Collections

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