February 2009 Articles
National Library Week—April 12-18, 2009
What better time to celebrate National Library Week than when the media is touting the fact that library use increases (indeed, it has been!) when financial times are bad (and indeed, they have been!!)? People are visiting the library more, checking more items out, and using the public access computers more. More people are attending more library programs.
None of this surprises me. What surprises me is how surprised people are to finally realize this. My husband told me of an encounter he had just a few days ago with one of his acquaintances. They were talking about the economy (what else is there to talk about these days?) and his acquaintance mentioned a title he recommends. He mentioned the cost of the book and what a bargain it was, especially when it has the potential to save X numbers of dollars.
“But,” he said, leaning closer, as though divulging a secret, “I got it free. I checked it out of the library!” He went on to ask my husband if he had a library card (my question is: just one?!) and to tell him what a great deal the public library is.
So maybe there is a silver lining in all this. Libraries should have never been a well-kept secret and to those of us who love our libraries and use libraries heavily, they never were. But if the poor economy makes people more aware of the value of our libraries, some good will have come from this disastrous economic situation in which we find ourselves.
Now that is cause for serious celebration.
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