Trustee

Winter 2015

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President's Memo

Winter 2015 issue of Trustee

MILLENNIALS AND THEIR CHALLENGE TO LIBRARIES (continued)

 

Millennials have been labeled as narcissistic, lazy, indecisive; they have been called the boomerange generation for many of them seemingly refuse to leave their parents’ home or even the Peter Pan generation because they supposedly refuse to grow up.

 

Since the 1960’s the baby boom generation born between l946 and l964 has dominated societal strategies including library collection and service philosophies.  At one-fourth of the population, the boomers created the demand libraries and society rushed to meet.

 

Now, however, young adults in their 20’s are moving to surpass boomers as the largest age group (83 million or 26% of population vs. 75 million or 24% of population) and their demand is driving the need for libraries to catch up and provide the resources to meet their unique electric-based demand.

Millennials are the most educated generation in American history.  There are more 23 year olds (4.7 million) than any other age group (census data from June).  The second most populous age group was 24, and the third was 22.  By 2020 they will account for one-third of the adult population

 

They are the first generation born to the electronic information age, they live, eat, and sleep electronics—what library clooections and services existed for the demands of boomers and earlier segments of the population are proving no longer adequate to meet the new standards.  Traditional library collections and services remain important but the new electronic-driven needs of this new group, a great informational and non-traditional source, is causing a necessary reconfiguration of library resources and services.  Such reconfiguration is expensive and traditional means of library funding have been proven incapable of meeting this growing demand.  Traditional sources are insufficient when the overall picture of library necessity is examined.

 

 If America’s commercial structure is having difficulty revamping its offerings to meet the challenges and clamoring to figure out what this age group wants, is it not important for the library community to also reconfigure its service ideology to remain viable.


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