I recently received this information in a newsletter.
New Report Shows Library use is growing dramatically
The value of libraries in communities across the country continued to grow in 2008- and accelerated dramatically as the national economy sank and people looked for cost effective resources in a time of crisis, according to the American Library Association’s (ALA) annual State of America’s Libraries report, released as a part of “National Library Week – April 12-18, 2009.”
US libraries experienced a dramatic increase in library card registration as the public continues to turn to their local library for free services. More than 68% of Americans have a library card. This is the greatest number of Americans with library cards since the ALA started to measure library card usage in 1990, according to a 2008 Web poll conducted by Harris Interactive.
The report also says library usage soared as Americans visited their libraries nearly 1.4 billion times and checked out more than 2 billion items in the past year, an increase of more than 10 percent in both checked out items and library visits, compared to data from the last economic downturn in 2001.
However, public funding did not keep pace with usse, according to a survey conducted by the ALA. Forty-one percent of states report declining state funding for US public libraries for fiscal year 2009. Twenty percent of these states anticipate an additional reduction in the current fiscal year.
ALA President Jim Rettig said, “As illustrated in the ALA’s State of America’s Libraries Report, in economic hardship, Americans turn to- and dependon – their libraries.”
Other findings in this report:
- Children are among the heaviest users of public – library resources. Children’s materials account for 35% of all circulation transactions, and attendance at library-based programs was 57.8 million.
- The number of “Bookmobiles” or mobile service vehicles continues to increase from more than 930 in 2008, vs 825 in 2005.
The full text of the 2008 State of America’s Libraries is available at www.ala.org/2009
So the question is do you have a library card? Do you utilize this Libraries free services?
If not I challenge you to come down to the library and check us out, and while you’re here get a library card.