this is not your father’s library

Library bookshelvesWe’ve heard it so often, it seems like a truism: in this era of instant electronic information access, libraries are like dinosaurs that don’t know they’re already extinct.

Well, maybe not.

A new survey has found that Generation Wired uses libraries far more often than you might think. In fact, Internet-savvy youth between 18-30 are the largest user group for library research services and resources. Furthermore, the survey found that library usage actually declines with increasing age.

The survey, a joint project of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Princeton Survey Research Associates International, and the Pew Internet & American Life Project, featured telephone interviews with nearly 3,000 U.S. residents 18 years old or older.

You can download a free PDF of the survey report, Information Searches That Solve Problems: How People Use the Internet, Libraries, and Government Agencies When They Need Help, from the Pew website.