And Now, for Something Completely Different! Monty Python references aside, the Bad Economy apparently has spawned a Boom in Library Visits. Yup, Low Tech is getting High Traffic these days, as more & more of the Literati, who can't afford to be Gliterati, are paying their local public library branches a visit.
And, no, we didn't do any original reporting for this story. Totally lifted it from NBC Nightly News, but thought we should share.
From toddlers who come for Story Hour, to college students who can't afford the steep price tags on their textbooks, to those who Gave Up on the Borders/Barnes & Noble Janx as the Economy Went South, more & more folks are visiting their Local Library.
Visits up 42 percent in New York; 40 percent in Maryland; 33 percent in Michigan; 28 percent in Illinois (where more than a few politicians have some free time to squeeze a book in behind bars); 26 percent in Utah. And, according to the American Library Association, more Americans have library cards than ever before, too.
Folks are checking out books, yes, but also videos & CDs. Why Pay Thru the Nose when you can Get It For Free?
But with the resurgence in Ye Olde Fashioned Way of Doing Things also comes the news that our nation's libraries are being "downsized"; sacrificed in the name of plummeting budgets everywhere. Philly says it wants to shut 11 library branches; Hawaii is looking at closing 8; the bibliotecas en la Ciudad de Phoenix are considering discontinuing lending hours one day per week.
But as the More Than Literate William Zinsser might say, Tough Times call for Tough Action. We desperately need to keep our libraries open, so that our minds won't stagnate.
Reality Bites, doesn't it?