For libraries, difficult economic times are a catch-22 — their popularity skyrockets, but their funding, which comes primarily from property and consolidated sales taxes, plummets.
Over the past two years, circulation at Las Vegas libraries rose 12 percent, visits increased by 12 percent and research question, such as job search inquiries from patrons, increased by 23 percent, said Jeanne Goodrich, executive director of the Las Vegas–Clark County Library District.
Computer usage at the district’s 12 urban and 12 rural libraries increased by 25 percent over the past two years, too, she said.
“There’s a direct correlation between our high usage and high unemployment right now,” she said.Because only 4 percent of the library’s revenue comes from fines and other fees, it is difficult for public libraries to find other sources of money, Goodrich said. As of yet, no new sources have been proposed.
Las Vegas Libraries on a Roll. (01/17/2010)