This may come as a surprise to you, but of all the adult generations… it is Millennials who are the most likely to visit a public library. Data from surveys indicate that over 2016 over 50% of Millennials visited either a library or a bookmobile in the 12 months prior to the survey. If that doesn’t sound like much, only 36% of Baby Boomers, and the Silent Generation could say the same, though Generation X managed to hit 43%. The number of library visits for Millennials was likely even higher, but the wording of the question excluded libraries on campuses.

They’re not just using public libraries and bookmobiles, though, they’re also the most likely adult generation to make use of library websites. Twice as likely, to be exact.

Why Millennials Are Using The Library

This seems like a surprising discovery, considering the internet has the answer to pretty much every question you could even think of. Yet, despite this, there are many Millennials who don’t have a home computer to use so they head to the library to take advantage of the computers on offer, which of course also come with an internet connection.

It goes beyond that, though, because many libraries have additional services that Millennials are looking to make use of. What types of services? Not only do libraries offer up space for community groups to meet, they offer literacy programs for all ages, and an introduction to a wide variety of new technologies (like 3D printers).

The one aspect of libraries that Millennials are least likely to use is an app – it’s difficult to determine the reason for this, but it seems the percentage of each generation for using library apps is the same.

Which Millennials Visit The Most Often

What we see with Millennials, though, isn’t just that they use public libraries and their websites more than any other generations, but they use them differently and it shows in the splits.

Women are the most likely of the generation to visit both bookmobiles and public libraries (by almost double) and they’re also more likely to head to a library website than men. When it comes to the public library, website, and bookmobile use a college graduate is more likely to visit any of them than someone who left education with a high school diploma.

Another big driver for public library use is for Millennial parents who have small children – they are far more likely to visit libraries than those without children, which makes sense considering the additional services on offer.

Of course, all of this is good news for the library system. So many of our public institutions have closed down due to a lack of use and this ‘new trend’ that the Millennials are driving will protect these institutions for future generations to enjoy. It seems as though the Millennial generation is far more old school than they receive credit for. What is clear is that Millennials value knowledge and what are we really without the joy reading?