Saturday, April 16, 2011
Library Business Still Booming in Wausau
Marathon County Public Library's Wausau branch sees an increase in use. (Wausau Daily Herald, 4/16/2011)
Excerpt: With a stack of magazines in hand Friday, Joann Kleiber was ready to sit down, relax and read a few Reader's Digest articles and perhaps glean tips from Good Housekeeping.
Kleiber, 64, of Wausau also planned to grab a few novels from the Marathon County Public Library's Wausau branch to "lighten up a little" from the nonfiction she usually reads. It's a trip she makes two or three times a week, part of a retirement goal of spending more time at the library.
"It's just a great place to come," she said.
Kleiber is one of thousands of patrons who helped push the library's March checkout total to 106,780 -- the second-highest in the library's 38-year history, and not far behind the June 2010 record of about 115,000 items borrowed from the system's nine branches.
Yet the record checkouts coincide with perhaps the greatest threat to library funding in at least five years with efforts to cut state and local deficits.
Mike O'Connor, reference librarian at the Wausau branch, said the library traffic shows no signs of declining. Spring break makes March one of the busiest months, along with June and July, and library employees are projecting a 6 percent to 7 percent increase this month over the 89,000 items checked out in April 2010.