Thursday, October 9, 2008

Get Your Money's Worth

The financial news is certainly grim these days, isn't it? Fuel and food prices are up, stock values are down, and if you have a job and a home that's not in forclosure, you're doing pretty well.

During a tough economy, libraries typically see more users. It was true during the Great Depression, and it's even truer today. We see more people using our public computers to search for jobs and submit online applications. People who are cutting back by discontinuing their internet service are coming in to use ours or picking up our wi-fi connection outside in their cars. Our summer children's programs filled up, with waiting lists, and we broke the record on daily visitors twice during the summer. Circulation of DVDs is sky-high. We can't prove that record gas prices made people look for free activities and entertainment closer to home, but we suspect there is a connection.

When you pay your property taxes, a small portion supports library services. Whether you use them or not, you've paid your nickel, so why not get your money's worth? Save the cash you spend at the bookstore and borrow our copies instead. Who needs video services when the library buys all the latest DVDs? How about trying downloadable audiobooks? Bring your kids to free storyhours and teen activities, or bring yourself to one of our programs for adults. Read our magazines and newspapers. Listen to our music CDs. Borrow our cookbooks, travel guides, bestsellers, large print titles. Use our wi-fi (inside and outside.) I say "our" but I should say "your." Everything we offer belongs to you, and there's a lot more here than you think.

We welcome your patronage. Use your library often and keep the change.

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