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Teens still use library, but often only when required

Before electronics were widely used, teens almost always had to use the library if they needed information on a topic. Nowadays, all that has changed.

"Teens use the Internet instead of the library," said Scott High School junior Dyanna Thompson.

Even when it comes to reading for enjoyment, the Internet has that covered. There are devices like Kindles and iPads that let users download books cheaply or even for free.

"I think that a lot of teens are not aware of the things that you can do in the library," said Carrena Rouse, an English teacher at Scott.

She noted that people can check out not only books, but also movies, games and more at public libraries. Plus, some libraries have programs that allow users to check out e-books and download them straight to their electronic devices.

Some teens, like the ones in Rouse's classes, often use the library for research on school projects. In cases like these, most students use the school's library; they do not normally go to a public library. This is because it's more convenient. Especially for students who live farther away from town, it is just easier to go to the school's library during the day instead of the public library after school.

Heather Ritter, Scott's librarian, said students still use the library.

"A lot of kids come in the school's library to work on projects using the Internet and to check out books," she said. "They might use it for different reasons than students might have 20 years ago, but they do still use it."

Some teens only read what is required of them for school, and now they don't really need the library for that. When students have to read a book, the teacher or school will normally provide copies for them, eliminating the need to go to the library to get it.

There are teens who love to read for their own enjoyment, though. While some only buy books for their Kindle or other device, others still have their library cards and go to public and school libraries. However, some of those students said they don't go that often.

"Yes, I have a library card, but I don't use it," said Scott junior Cadi Wolff.

It is completely free to check out a book, or anything else, from a public or school library. All a person must do at a public library is sign up to get a card. At most school libraries, a student does not even have to get a library card to check out books.

So do teens still use the library? Some do and some don't. It offers more than just books, though, so why not sign up for a free library card and see for yourself what it has?


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