Sunday, December 28, 2008

As economy dips, Fox Valley libraries have 'banner year'

Link to December 28 Fond du Lac Reporter article.

"Library use is going up. This is not a surprise to us. We've seen this pattern in the past when the economy has soured," said Jim Rettig, president of the American Library Association. "People have to make decisions and they rediscover the value their library offers."

Rettig said the top reason people use library computers, after K-12 education, is career development and job hunting.

"There are an awful lot of companies now that will not accept a job application unless it's submitted online," he said. "Somebody who is out of work or looking to change jobs might not have access to the Internet.

"In 73 percent of the communities in the U.S., their best, and maybe only hope for free Internet access, is their public library."

Fox Valley library directors and staff said an increasing number of patrons are job seekers.

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