Books…stacks and stacks of books. For some, there is no great bliss.
Sadly, libraries have it tough these days. With budget cutbacks and a more digitally-focused population, many libraries are finding it difficult to make ends meet. Yet, according to CNN’s Jareen Imam, libraries are seeing a resurgence as circulation figures hit new highs and “book tourists” seek out libraries in the cities they visit.
“Some libraries bring in more than just patrons. They are also popular amongst tourists, drawing visitors by the tens of thousands, if not millions,” Imam writes, adding that the Seattle Public Library sees more than 7 million visitors each year.
Libraries, and what they represent, are viewed as an important part of the American landscape.
“Americans strongly value the role of public libraries in their community, according to findings by the Pew Research Center. In fact, 94% of people polled in 2013 said that having a public library improves the quality of life in a community,” says Imam.
And “despite enduring budget cutbacks and being forced to reinvent their services in the face of the ubiquitous Internet, public libraries remain staple institutions in various communities. There’s been an increase in the use of public libraries in the U.S. over the past decade. Services such as public computers doubled in usage in the past 10 years, and libraries saw a circulation increase of 2.46 billion materials in 2010, the highest ever reported, according to a report by the Institute of Museum and Library Services,” Imam notes.
Teachers, parents and book lovers of all stripes seem to agree that libraries hold an important place in our memories and our communities.
(Like libraries? View the delicious library photo gallery in honor of National Library Week. )