20 Aug, 2017
  En Español
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Surprise? North American youth still love libraries


Pew Research Centre’s Internet and American Life project has recently published a new study that reflects young Americans’ love for libraries. This research, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, analyses the evolution of library services and the perception and use of different age groups towards them. Roy Tennant, digital libraries expert, expresses his surprise and happiness in view of the results, published in an article on The Digital Shift.
Concerning the behaviour of young people, Tennant emphasises that said document contradicts the stereotypes commonly held of Americans between sixteen and twenty-nine years of age. The robot portrait these youths are commonly subjected to, according to Tennant, is of a person who lives with his back to the printing world and is immersed in the digital sphere. But in truth, as he points out, is that the study’s results show a young person on horseback between the printed and the digital, who, even if they lean towards a greater use of digital equipment and the internet, also reads printed books.
Tennant also notes the affinity shown by people under thirty towards libraries, as sixty five per cent of them have a library card, use it often, and value it. To summarise, the results that Pew Internet have recorded shows young people make use of a combination of technological and traditional resources, and that people under thirty make greater use of libraries as a study or leisure space.
But there are still more surprises in the study, says Tennant, this time relating to the printed books the participating population had read in the last year. “Seventy five per cent of young Americans had read at least one –he claims–, compared to sixty four per cent of adults”.
Roy Tennant finally declares, this time as a father of twins in their twenties, that he is full of pride and satisfaction that his daughters and their equals in age have this sort of appreciation for libraries, and show it by approaching books in different formats.


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