Surprising new study reveals link between library usage and happiness
Well, I’m surprised to say the least.
According to a study commissioned by the UK’s Department for Culture, Media, and Sport, there is a significant association between frequent library use and overall well-being. This means that going to the library may make you a happier person.
Of course, that’s hardly shocking, but what’s surprising is that the study found this association to be as significant as receiving a pay raise of $2,282. That’s right. Going to your local library is like having an extra $2,000 per year.
Unfortunately, the study doesn’t seem to say how frequent is frequent, and it doesn’t get into the nitty gritty of why frequent library use is so highly correlated with overall well-being. If I had to hazard a guess, though, I’d say it probably comes down mostly to reading. Frequent library users no doubt read a lot, and reading a novel has been shown to have all sorts of beneficial side-effects for your mental health.
On the other hand, it may simply be that happier people go to the library, which probably does explain some of it. Yet, the study did examine a lot of other activities in addition to library usage, and it found that frequent library usage was associated with greater levels of well-being than participating in a team sport or going to a play. So there’s clearly something about libraries that makes you a happier person.
For the whole study, check it out by clicking here.
I assume it means public libraries and not university libraries, because I’d say frequent attenders to university libraries (ie. 8 hours every Saturday and Sunday) probably suffer higher rates of depression and anxiety than their peers 😉