Monday, December 31, 2007

U.S. Generation Y more often to patronize libraries

BEIJING, Dec. 31 (Xinhuanet) -- More than half of Americans visited a library in 2007, with young adults from Generation Y -- 18 to 30 years old -- being the heaviest users, according to a survey released on Sunday.

Public libraries drew visits by more than half of all Americans -- 53 percent -- in 2007 for all kinds of purposes, the survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project said.

"The age of books isn't yet over," said Lee Rainie, Pew's director.

The study found that library usage drops gradually as people age — to 62 percent among Americans generally aged 18-30 compared with 32 percent among those 72 and up, with a sharp decline just as Americans turn 50.

"These findings turn our thinking about libraries upside down," said Leigh Estabrook, a professor emerita at the University of Illinois and co-author of a report on the survey results.

"Internet use seems to create an information hunger and it is information-savvy young people who are most likely to visit libraries," she said.

Internet users were more than twice as likely to patronize libraries as non-Internet users, according to the survey.

The study also found that more than two-thirds of library visitors in all age groups said they used computers while at the library.


Editor: Wang Yan

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