Americans trust libraries for information |

Americans trust libraries for information

Peter Terlato 31 August 2017 NEWS

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Millennials are the greatest advocates for libraries.

With the constant advent of new technologies, it’s becoming tougher to determine and distinguish trustworthy and dependable news and information sources in the online environment.

However, a new analysis of Pew Research Center survey data from 2016 has discovered Americans, particularly millennials, are confident that public libraries offer positive and credible information and media services.

The study reveals that more than three-quarters (78%) of adult Americans feel public libraries help them find information that is trustworthy and reliable, while a similar proportion (76%) say libraries help them to learn.

A solid proportion of Americans also acknowledge the library as a place which helps them grow as people (65%), focus on the things that matter in their lives (49%), help them cope with a busy lifestyle (43%), endure a world where it’s tough to get ahead (38%) and protect their personal data against online thieves (27%).

Intriguingly, the biggest supporters of the US public library system are millennials (those aged 18-35). These young adults have a proportionately higher usage rate of library services, compared with other age groups.

The research found more than half (53%) of all millennials used a library or bookmobile in 2015/16. Generation Xers usage was about 45%, while baby boomers (43%) and those from the silent generation (36%) used less.

The overwhelming majority (87%) of millennials believe the library is a great source for trustworthy information, while a similar percentage (85%) say libraries help them learn new things.

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