Millennials get a lot of flak for ruining great things—the gym, brunch, Applebee’s, vacations, the workforce at large, etc. But there’s one important civic institution that Millennials can’t be accused of killing off: the public library. According to a survey from the Pew Research Center, American Millennials are more likely than members of any other generation to have visited a public library in the last year.
The survey, conducted in fall 2016, found that 53 percent of people ages 18 to 35 had visited a library or bookmobile in the previous 12 months. That’s compared to 45 percent of Gen Xers (ages 36 to 51) and 43 percent of Baby Boomers.
The survey only asked about public libraries, so that’s not counting the college libraries that you’d expect young people to frequent. Unfortunately, the survey didn't include people under the age of 18, so we don't know yet how Generation Z feels about libraries.
For years, studies have reported that women read more novels and buy more books than men, and their library usage reflects that gender gap. A total of 54 percent of women surveyed had visited a library in the year before compared to just 39 percent of men. College graduates and parents with young children were also more likely to use the library than other groups.
Contrary to doomsday predictions, it looks like libraries won't be dying off anytime soon—at least not if young people have anything to say about it.