Surge in library usage continues to generate interest

As you may have noticed, the ALA Public Information Office has continued its efforts to educate the media on the critical role libraries play during economic hard times, and the results have been impressive.On Dec. 31, 2008, Katie Couric reported on the CBS Evening News segment “Notebook: Libraries” that “American’s are saving money, and keeping the looming recession at bay, by going to their local libraries to rent books, CD’s and DVD’s,” and cited that libraries are “hotter than ever.”

On Jan. 7, 2009, The New York Times blog Freakonomics wrote an article entitled “The Public Library Renaissance,” in which the author reported that fewer people bought books, CD’s and DVD’s in 2008 than the year before and that movie, concert and theatre attendance was also down. Freakonomics also asked, “If nobody seems to be out buying books, movies and music, what are they doing with their time instead? Apparently: going to the library.”

Past placements include the NBC Nightly News, Parade Magazine and an op-ed in the Huffington Post.

Also, be sure to take a look at the new ALA “Advocating in a Tough Economy” toolkit at

We’ll continue to keep you posted….
- Submitted by Jennifer Petersen, Public Information Office

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