The crossover generation: Baby boomers and the role of the public library

Christina Williamson, Marion Bannister, Jenny Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
73 Downloads (Pure)


The article explores the concept of baby boomers as a 'crossover' generation, one that embodies characteristics of previous and later generations. The context is the retirement of the baby boomers and its potential impact on the public library. Ethnographic method within a constructivist framework was used, employing the techniques of focus groups and individual interviews. The findings focus on four principal areas: baby boomer characteristics; information needs and resource use; social needs; and the role of volunteering. Comparisons are made with other generations, as appropriate. The conclusion is that, despite some shared characteristics, differences require innovative responses from public libraries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-190
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Librarianship and Information Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010


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