Odyssey Online

Public Libraries in a Recession

February 2, 2009 · No Comments

…somewhat off the stated topic of Odyssey Online, but the news today carried a number of articles about public libraries. Notably, several articles (here, here, here) appeared detailing how that the demand for Public Library services has increased dramatically with the economic downturn. (My mother, commenting on a Friday visit to Manchester New Hampshire’s Carpenter Library said “The place was mobbed.”) At the same time, with the economic downturn, has come severe strains on public funding, with, in some places like Darby PA, potentially dramatic consequences. It’s a conundrum–the invisible hands that are moving people to libraries are the same invisible hands that threaten their funding. If I had the answer I’d be clapping my hands but it does, and this is admittedly coming from a bibliophile, seem like the word “investment” is connoted in the phrase “library funding.” If you have an institution that is empowering people–by their own initiative–in hard times, perhaps their is reason to look to the future. Difficult, obviously, but the thought for the day about public libraries…

Categories: Books · Essay on Bibliography

St. Lawrence University