CULTURE & ARTS
06/22/2017 11:46 am ET

Millennials Are Using Public Libraries More Than Any Other Generation

Give it up for young readers.
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Most likely to prioritize avocado toast over home ownership. Most likely to hate cereal. Millennials get stuck with the most grating superlatives, but according to a Pew Research Center report from last fall, they’re getting a lot of things right, too. The generation frequents public libraries more often than members of any other age group.

A blog published on the center’s site on Wednesday says, “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.”

And, the question on the survey was explicitly about public libraries, as opposed to university libraries, so the fact that many millennials are still college-age is moot.

These findings are consistent with a 2014 study from Pew, which shows that millenials read more books than members of other generations.

It’s also possible that younger and more civically-minded readers are privier to the services provided by libraries that are unrelated to checking out new titles.

So, the need for libraries ― and the apparent desire young people have to visit libraries ― makes the possibility for budget cuts an urgent issue. In Trump’s proposed 2018 budget, the Institute of Museum and Library Services was eliminated altogether. In response, librarians put their advocacy experience to use, fighting for these spaces that are valued by younger generations.

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