This 2010 report by the American Library Association shows that Americans have turned to their libraries in larger numbers in recent years. When jobs go away, Americans turn to their libraries to find information about future employment or educational opportunities. This library usage trend and others are detailed in the 2010 State of America’s Libraries report, released today by the American Library Association. However, the report also shows that increased library use did not lead to an increase in funding for libraries.
Other key findings include:
- Internet use continues to expand at public libraries, which have seen double-digit growth since 2007 in the on-line services they make available to their patrons.
- Almost all Americans feel that school libraries are an essential part of the education experience because they provide resources to students and teachers and because they give every child the opportunity to read and learn.
- America’s academic libraries are experiencing increased use, both physical and virtual.
- America’s libraries continue their efforts to support minorities and other underserved or disadvantaged populations.
- The library community continues to defend a core value embodied in the First Amendment and the corollary right to receive and consider ideas, information, and images.
- Library construction fared better in 2009 than many expected during the recession, especially given the unreliability of funding for programming, materials, and hours.
American Library Association (2010). 2010 State of America’s libraries report: Recession drives more Americans to libraries in search of employment resources, but funding lags demand. Chicago, IL: American Library Association. http://www.ala.org/news/sites/ala.org.news/files/content/mediapresscenter/americaslibraries/soal2010/ALA_Report_2010-ATI001-NEW1.pdf