If you have an e-reader, chances are it’s helped you plow through the pages of book after book — and even with all that content, you probably still visit the library.
According to a study by the Pew Research Center published Tuesday, 16-29 year olds are reading more often, largely because of the mass amounts of e-content that is available to them on mobile devices. They’re not just reading short blips of content, either — people under 30 are reading more long-form content on their smartphones and tablets, but also continuing to visit their local libraries.
Eight in 10 Americans ages 16-29 read a book this past year, and more than six out of 10 used their local public library. Of the people who read this past year, 75 percent read a print book while 19% read an ebook, and 11% listened to an audiobook. Forty six percent used the library for research, 38 percent borrowed books (print books, audiobooks, or ebooks), and 23 percent borrowed newspapers, magazines, or journals.
High schoolers, especially, report borrowing books from libraries.
“High schoolers stand out in several ways. We found that libraries are a large part of how readers ages 16-17 get their books, more so than older adults. These high schoolers are more likely than other age groups to use the library, including for research and book-borrowing,” Kathryn Zickuhr, a co-author of the Pew report, said in a statement. “Yet their appreciation for these library services doesn’t quite match up — almost half of 16-17 year-olds say that the library is not important or ‘not too important’ to them and their family, significantly more than other age groups.”
SEE ALSO: Amazon Whispercast Helps Teachers Manage Students’ E-Books
Most libraries haven’t gone completely digital, but many have implemented some sort of digital element — from card catalogs to providing some digital content including ebooks. This latest Pew study also shows that more than half of people surveyed were not aware they could borrow an ebook from the library.
All of the San Francisco public libraries have made ebook rentals available online since 2009 — and yet people are still surprised they can get ebooks at the library, said Michelle Jeffers, public relations officer at the San Francisco Library. In fact, this past year, the library’s ebook circulation has risen by 50% while the physical collection just by about 2.5%.
San Francisco Librarian Laura Lent, chief of collections, tells Mashable most teens want e-readers, but can’t get their hands on them because of cost. But the library’s more than just a place to find reading materials, she said.
“The library’s also a social place to gather after school or do homework,” Lent said.
SEE ALSO: Which E-Books Are Most Borrowed From Libraries, And Why?
Libraries are increasing their programming for young people, especially teenagers.
“The future of libraries depends on what that generation finds of value at the library,” Lent said. “To me, it’s very heartening, it shows a significant portion of that age group is engaged in reading and that bodes well for libraries.”
The research was conducted by the Pew Research Center for its Internet & American Life Project, and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The purpose of this research is to see if reading habits of Americans ages 16 and older are being influenced by digital technology. The findings will be presented Tuesday at the Internet Librarian Conference in Monterey, California.
The findings in this report are from a national phone survey of 2,986 people ages 16 and older that took place from Nov. 16-Dec. 21, 2011. This report also contains the opinions and observations of an online panel of library patrons ages 16-29 who borrow ebooks.[ Source :- Mashable ]