Monday, October 23, 2006

Libraries thrive in KS & AR | Even in Internet age, libraries thrive

This is the Internet age. Books are obsolete. Right? Borders is doomed. Right? Cities and counties that build new libraries are wasting public dollars because nobody will use them. Right?


Library critics would have us believe that library use has decreased as Internet use has increased. If so, how can one account for the 53 percent increase in use of the Lawrence Public Library since 2000? In 2005, 933,023 items where checked out of our library compared with 609,940 in 2000. Today, there are 78,000 people who have a Lawrence library card!

Fayetteville, Ark., (pop. 65,000) opened a new library building in 2005. Circulation increased 27 percent; library cardholders increased 60 percent; public programs increased 50 percent; program attendance increased 38 percent; computer use increased 100 percent; and reference queries increased 20 percent.

Residents use libraries more than ever. And there are no statistics from cities with newly built libraries to indicate otherwise. If helping to build and sustain community life is a goal, investing in a new library is a wise strategy...

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