According to an article over at The Consumerist, public library usage is up, possibly due to trouble with the economy.
- MODESTO, CA: Checkouts are up 15 percent at the main library.
- BOULDER, CO: Circulation of job-hunting materials is up 14 percent.
- NEWARK, NJ: Usage of the public library is up 17 percent.
- SAN FRANCISCO, CA: Library card requests have increased 27 percent in the last half of 2008.
- BOISE, ID: Reported a 61 percent increase in new library cards in 2008.
- BRANTLEY COUNTY, GA: Library computer usage was up 26 percent in the last quarter.
Public libraries can make you feel like a king if you're on a tight budget. I was raised by a single mom and times were often tough. I remember the first time I walked into a library and someone explained to me that I could get any book I wanted there and they were FREE! I felt like it was some miracle that was being visited upon me. I remember looking up at the big library stacks and not knowing where to start. It was a breathless and defining moment.
Libraries are underfunded, in my opinion, considering the service they provide a community. What can you do to improve your library system? Brainstorming this question will reveal many ways you can help, besides the obvious monetary donations.
- Donate books in good condition
- Volunteer to be on staff or board of directors
- Offer to teach free classes or workshops
- Read to the kids at story hour
- Randomly pay a buck or two on someone's library fines
- Purchase books at the book sales
What are some other ideas you can come up with? Are there any librarians out there who can tell us great ways to help our community libraries?
[photo credit: brungrrl]