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Library Usage on the Rise

I grew up in a pretty small town -- about 600 people in the "village limits" actually -- so when I think about using the library, I remember it being pretty much me and Mrs. L, our town librarian as the only people in the library on some days. (Mrs. L was also the wife of the Mayor, Assistant Football coach, and my 5th and 6th grade teacher and varsity softball coach. Funny side note: Mr. L now coaches the softball team at my high school rival, which is where SI Careers associate director, Joanna Kroll, went to high school). Okay.. I've digressed... but isn't that what blogs are for?

Back to topic: When I was meeting with the staff of the different libraries of New York City for Alternative Spring Break, I must admit, I was surprised that people were lined up outside the libraries in the morning waiting for the libraries to open (it wasn't exactly warm out, either!). These places were busy! And they were busy all the time! Although, New York City isn't exactly Small-Town, USA, still, with that thought in mind, I was not surprised to see that the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette posted an article on the rise of libraries in the United States (Source). Between 1994 to 2004, the number of visits to the library increased 61 percent! There were 2 billion visits in 2004 to libraries in the US!

The article states that the use of the Internet is one of the causes of this increase, contrary to what many say as a reason for decline. I completely believe this; how many of us, when we have recently moved and need to use the internet because our home connection has not been set up, go to the local library? And think about all of the people in our country that do not have computers at home -- or Internet connections? When they do need to use the internet, for homework, for job applications, for looking up something they need to know, they go to the local public library. With libraries doing much more than providing access to books and computers these days, I don't think that it’s unrealistic to suggest that the increase in use of libraries will continue to rise.

So, it looks like a pretty good job market for our SI future-librarians! I just thought I would pass on the good news that you are needed and will continue to be needed. ~Kelly

Posted by kkowatch at May 21, 2007 10:31 AM


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