Library Facts – Young Adult Reading Habits & Libraries

This week’s blog was going to be a description of the plan to open the new library in the spring of 2016. But then I read the recently released Pew Research Center’s study on the reading habits of 16-29 year olds.

Shock.

Almost all Americans under 30 are online. However, they are still reading print. 75% say they have read at least one book in print in the last year while 25% have read an e-book. The growth of young adult sections in book stores and libraries is testament  to the fact that more than 85% of older teens ages 16-17 read a print book last year.

  • 80% of Americans under age 30 say it is “very important” for libraries to have librarians to help people find information they need
  • 76% say it is “very important” for libraries to offer research resources such as free databases
  • 75% say free access to computers and the internet is “very important” for libraries to have
  • 75% say it is “very important” for libraries to offer books for people to borrow
  • 72% say quiet study spaces are “very important”
  • 72% say programs and classes for children and teens are “very important” for libraries to have
  • 71% say it is “very important” for libraries to offer job or career resources

What about young adults acceptance of technology?

  • 98% of young adults ages 18-29 use the internet and 80% have broadband at home
  • 97% of young adults ages 18-29 own a cell phone
  • 65% of young adults ages 18-29 own a smartphone
  • 34% of young adults ages 18-29 have a tablet computer
  • 28% of young adults ages 18-29 own an e-reader

This means that:

  • 35% do not own a smartphone
  • 66% do not own a tablet
  • 72% do not own an e-reader

Technology is actually drawing young people to the library by offering information that they need for school projects, their own reading pleasure, school research, job research, and just hanging around.

The link below takes you to the survey. http://libraries.pewinternet.org/2013/06/25/younger-americans-library-services/

In the past year the Young Adult section at Alfred Dickey has grown significantly  and a number of new YA programs have been added by Jennifer Senger, children’s and YA librarian. The challenge at Alfred Dickey and Stutsman County is space and flexibility. How do we balance the physical adult, young adult and children’s areas, and balance traditional printed materials and e-materials?

The answer is a new flexible, efficient library that meets the needs of all the residents of Jamestown and Stutsman County.