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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Gen-Y biggest users of libraries?

Did you read the latest article from Reuter’s on Gen-Y users of libraries? I love the quote by Leigh Estabrook. I get my email notifications of all PEW studies and am always surprised what the media takes from them.

Of the 53 percent of U.S. adults who said they visited a library in 2007, the biggest users were young adults aged 18 to 30 in the tech-loving group known as Generation Y, the survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project said.

"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.

We school librarians continue in our instruction with America’s students. We teach them respect for life-long literacy and learning. We teach them that as citizens they should be using their public benefits at the local libraries – including networking and internet use. We convey a love of learning. Are we reaching them? Yes, I do believe so.

Surveys can be so misleading. Ten years ago the surveys threatened doom and gloom for libraries that usage was dropping. Now the surveys show the next age group to be avid users of libraries. There is no crystal ball for library usage or relevancy. We determine how other’s view us and need us. Keep working, school librarians, public librarians, and academic librarians. We will continue to send you our knowledge-thirsty students.