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Library Usage and Expectations Changing

Report Reveals That Younger Americans Expect Both Traditional and Innovative Services from Their Libraries
SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. –A recent report by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project reveals that library usage and expectations for library services by younger Americans (age 16-29) differ dramatically from older library patrons. Respondents under the age of 30 are more likely to use libraries’ computer and Internet connections, while continuing to utilize traditional print books and magazines. The survey revealed that “75 percent of younger Americans say they have read at least one book in print in the past year, compared to 64 percent of adults 30 and older.”
 
Today’s libraries must evolve to meet the needs of our patrons and keep up with a changing society,” said Nancy Howe, County Librarian. “While we still are brick and mortar buildings with thousands of books to be borrowed, the Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) also offers an ever growing array of free digital content, as well as classes, educational and recreational events for children and adults.” 
 
Local public libraries play a vital part in the lives of their communities. SCCLD libraries offer weekly storytimes for children and families, provide quiet study spaces and social gathering areas for teens, and serve as Internet Wi-Fi hot spots and 24/7 resource centers for digital materials that can be downloaded from home or work.
 
“With the rapid changes in technology, library users, especially younger generations expect much more than borrowing books from their library,” said County of Santa Clara Supervisor Mike Wasserman, Delegate for the County Library District Joint Powers Authority. “We rely on local libraries for timely and convenient access to information, resources and services.”  
 
Findings from the study (http://libraries.pewinternet.org/2013/06/25/younger-americans-library-services/) show that a majority of adults under 30 identified the following types of resources as “very important” for public libraries: getting help from trained librarians, borrowing print materials and eBooks, accessing free research tools and databases, and using library computers and Wi-Fi networks.
 
To meet the needs of the under 30 crowd, the Santa Clara County Library District offers a multitude of programs, including free ACT and SAT practice exams, poetry readings and workshops, computer skills classes, book discussions, speaker’s bureaus, travel seminars and investment clubs.  SCCLD community libraries also feature recreational activities including free Zumba, yoga, line-dancing and Tai Chi classes; as well as knitting, gardening and meditation programs.
 
“The Cupertino Library, a member of the Santa Clara County Library District, has always supported high school students, assisting with student outreach in the community, enriching academic and social programs, and providing a cooperative and nurturing environment,” added Karen Gugle, President of the Monta Vista High School’s Technology Student Association (TSA).   “For the Monta Vista TSA, the Cupertino Library has been our greatest support system, guiding us through the complexities of hosting a large event such as the Teen Technology Symposium, and providing us with the tools we need to make a difference in our city.” 
For further information about SCCLD resources and programs visit www.sccl.org .
 
About the Santa Clara County Library District 
 
Known as one of America’s best 100 public libraries, the Santa Clara County Library District promotes knowledge, ideas, and cultural enrichment. Its collection includes more than 1.9 million books, videos, CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, eBooks and extensive online resources that users can access from home or work.
 
For eleven years, the Library has ranked as one of the best in the nation for its size by Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings. Also recognized as one of America’s 2013 Star Libraries by Library Journal, the Santa Clara County Library District is one of the most-used public resources in the region.
 
The Santa Clara County Library District includes two bookmobiles, an online library, seven community libraries and one branch library serving Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Saratoga and the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County. In 2013, the Santa Clara County Library District had more than 215,000 library cardholders and welcomed 3.2 million visitors who borrowed 9.7 million items. Visit Santa Clara County Library District online at www.sccl.org.
 
Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Marina Hinestrosa, Office of Public Affairs (408) 299-5119;  Mark Fink, Library Services Manager (408) 293-2326 ext. 3010; Derek Wolfgram, Deputy County Librarian (408) 293-2326, ext. 3002; Lili Smith, Santa Clara County Library District  (408) 293-2326  ext. 3014  
 
Posted: July 17, 2013