New Data Shows Public Library Use High Among Millennials | NECN
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New Data Shows Public Library Use High Among Millennials

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Wednesday, June 28, 2017)

    At the Boston Public Library, younger faces keep walking through the door.

    "I think we are seeing a much higher engagement," said David Leonard, president of the library.

    It's a trend that is happening nationwide.

    In a newly released data from the Pew Research Center, millennials are credited with going to public libraries more than any other generation.

    PEW reports 53 percent of millennials, those between the ages of 18 and 35, have been to a public library or bookmobile in the last year. That's higher than Gen-X, Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation.

    Leonard credits the library's renovations that wrapped up last year with the influx.

    "(They are) really thinking of it as their own extension of a home," said Leonard.

    If you haven't been to the Boston Public Library in years, what you find may surprise you. Long gone are the days of dark hallways clouded with dust. There's now a more modern look with bright lighting and open floor plans.

    "I had never seen it so dynamic, so full of people with what they've done," said Phil McNulty, executive director of the Newton Free Library.

    Right now, his library is in the early stages of redesigning their building for the first time since it opened in 1991.

    The hope is a more welcome feel will attract a younger crowd and keep them coming back.

    According to McNulty, nearly every section of the library will see renovations.

    "If we do it successfully, we know that (millennials) will go through their life cycles and they start having kids, they'll keep thinking of libraries as a place of an available resource and we will always want to keep relevant."

    Staying relevant will kept them open for generations to come.


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