Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Library Catch-22: What Happens in Vegas....and Everywhere Else

Source: City of Henderson DoIT

Link to February 10 Las Vegas Sun article, "With revenue down and demand up, libraries are in a tough spot". (via Twitter)

Excerpt: The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District estimates it will lose $60 million over the next five years if changes aren’t made to its budget.

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.

Related article:
Las Vegas Libraries on a Roll. (01/17/2010)

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