In a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, the data show that Millennials (18-35 year-olds) were the adult generation most likely to visit a public library and use a library website or bookmobile in the last 12 months. Note that the survey excluded school libraries; these were strictly public libraries!
The study included not only free books but also the use of computer and internet connections and extra services. With all the amazing services libraries offer, it makes sense that they would attract young adults more than other adult age groups.
Computer and Internet Connections
Free wifi and a quiet place to work are likely to become even more necessary for an increasingly remote and online workforce. Coffee shops are nice, but a library presents the perfect, free place to conduct research or access resources for freelancers. In my opinion, you can’t beat having a library as your office.
Like computer and internet connections, being able to schedule free meeting rooms is essential and convenient for freelancers and small business owners, many of which are Millennials.
According to the Pew Research Center, anywhere between 65 to 90% of Americans above 16 years-old believe that closing a library would massively impact their community. Follow my logic here. Libraries benefit those who use them. The more we use them, the more the government can fund them, and the more they can offer us.
Three-fourths of Americans say that the library should educate the community about new technologies and how to use digital tools. While not widely common yet, some libraries already offer demonstrations and instruction on technologies like 3D printing. If public libraries had enough funding to teach other technologies, can you imagine how many more of this tech-crazy generation would visit the library?
As some Millennials have started their families, they take advantage of the free baby, toddler, preschool, and child programs available through public libraries–me included. I take my twin toddlers to the library on almost a weekly basis. They love the toddler time songs, books, crafts, and help from the librarians. Then they love to run in between the stacks, pound on the keyboards, and play with the puzzles our local library has supplied for patrons. I love that I can cultivate their love of reading without having to buy a million board books.
In addition to children’s programs, most local libraries offer free book clubs, literacy programs for adults, and others. Some local libraries may offer more services than others, but they are worth checking out!
Duh, we go there for the books! Access to books, specifically to printed books, is still the first reason people use the public library. Even the impatient Millennial generation can wait until their desired book comes in, just like the rest of other adults. Books will always be the best thing about public libraries.
To critics of the overall Millennial generation, I say Millennials apparently know a good deal when they see one–in libraries. Free knowledge and adventure in books, computer and internet use, meeting rooms, technology, and children’s and adult programs. Can you think of a better place than a library for young adults to be? Learn from Millennials and visit your local library too.
What do you love about going to your public library? Does it surprise you the Millennials were the most likely to use a library?
YouTube Channel: Seeker Daily
Featured image via Missoulian