Love libraries? Then you’re probably ahead of the technological curve.


(Pew Research)

New research on library users from the Pew Research Center suggests that people who report high engagement with libraries tend to be pretty tech savvy. The two groups identified by the Pew Internet and American Life Project as having the highest level of engagement with libraries, "library lovers" and "information omnivores" show higher levels of technology usage than the average American.

"Library lovers" are about 10 percent of the general population according to Pew, and report "frequent personal use of public libraries, along with high levels of household library use." The group tends to be younger, with higher levels of education than the general public --  and includes many "parents, students, and job seekers." Perhaps unsurprisingly considering that demographic make-up, they are more likely to use a variety of devices and technical services than the average American.


(Pew Research)

But "information omnivores" are actually the most technically connected group identified by Pew. Some 90 percent of them go online every day and 81 percent use social media. While they don't visit libraries as frequently as the "library lovers" group, they still represent a major pillar of public support for libraries. According to Pew, "85% strongly agree that libraries are important because they promote literacy, and 78% strongly agree that libraries improve the quality of life in their communities."

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government.
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