Friday, December 12, 2008

Low Tech Gets High Traffic

Meet Jillian. She's 7. She's got her First Library Card, & we're Playing Along with Candid Carrie's Friday Foto Finish Fiesta today!

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?

9 comments:

Susie said...

That is a casuality of the economy that we cannot afford.

Deanna said...

I have had my library card since age six. My boys have had theirs since age three. We are "Friends of the Library" here in our local city so we would be devastated if our library closed.

Lynda said...

I just got a library card the other day... hadn't had one in years and years... the only thing I find annoying is that libraries are now VERY LOUD! And, there isn't one librarian running around Shhhhhhshing people ;-)

jen721 said...

Always a proud moment when you get that first library card, then checking out that first book.

Marrdy said...

The economy stinks but I do so love the library. My 14 year old told me just the other day, "We never go to the library anymore." Time to start up again!

Tiffiney said...

That is crazy...I love the library...we do not have that great of one here in this town that I have moved to and I hate that..I miss the one in NC! I really hope they do not start closing all of these libraries..what a shame...

K8E said...

She is so cute! I loved getting my library card, and I still have to replace it every other year because it starts to fall apart from so much use. I would go into withdrawal if my library closed.

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Whenever I move to a new community, the very first thing I do after getting the utilities hooked up is to get a library card.

Veggie Mom said...

The Library is a Lifesaver. We need to keep ours around!

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