From the fine folks over at Pew Internet, a new study reports that young adults are most likely to visit a library when confronted with a problem to solve -- despite the wealth of online information available to them on the internet. Although most libraries have now added internet terminals, for the most part, libraries are still struggling to keep pace with the times, and haven't really done much to advance their position as knowledge providers. Though the article does point out that young adults (aged 18-30) are the most active library users (with 62% having visited a library in the past year), the report itself (pdf) paints a slightly different picture. When faced with a problem to solve, the percentage of people that looked on the internet, 58%, greatly outpaced the 13% that went to a public library. So, while it's possible to paint a nice picture with the previous statistic, perhaps it's not quite as rosy as the article suggests. Furthermore, of the 13% of those that visited the library, 65% were there to use the internet. Perhaps the reason that young adults visit the library more than the rest of the population is simply because libraries are more accessible to them, since many of them are at college. So, once again, may this serve as a reminder that 73% of studies may be used to show just about anything.
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