Slow economy fuels surge in library visits

Press Kit

According to the American Library Association's 2010 State of America's Libraries Report, Americans visited their libraries nearly 1.4 billion times and checked out almost 2 billion items in the past year, an increase of more than 10 percent in both checked out items and library visits, compared to data from the last economic downturn in 2001.

Every day across the country, libraries are meeting the needs of their communities by providing a broad range of services for people of all ages and backgrounds. Libraries offer their communities access to computers and the Internet, financial literacy skills, assistance with job searches, and resources to help small businesses. Libraries have an opportunity to benefit from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Press Releases  

Recession drives more Americans to libraries in search of employment resources; but funding lags demand

ALA Applauds Signing of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

State funding for many public libraries on decline

Online job-seeking focus of new issues brief

New national poll shows library card registration reaches historic high 

Slow economy fuels surge in library visits


Libraries Helping America Get Back to Work

ALA Creates One-Stop Source for Library Stimulus Information  

Libraries and return on investment - Wiki

Library Systems Database – Gannett News Service Multimedia

Economic Uncertainty Spreads to Library Endowments

Job-Seeking in US Public Libraries (pdf)

Library Funding

Public Library Use

Libraries Build Sustainable Communities Three E's

Media coverage on library use during economic recession

"Libraries offer free relief from tough times" - NBC Nightly News, Dec. 10, 2008 


Other video

In Recession, Libraries Are Booming - CBS Evening News
In a town used to lining up for celebrities, these days the long lines in Los Angeles are forming outside an unlikely place: the public library. CBS News correspondent Sandra Hughes has the story.

Good Times At The Library - CBS Evening News
In the face of rising gas and food prices, many financially strapped American families are turning to the library this summer for a fun and free alternative to heavy spending.  Bill Whitaker reports.


Libraries Shine In Tough Economic Times - NPR
With the economy slowing, many Americans are doing research in the public library. Boyd County, Ky., Library Director Debbie Cosper says public-use computers are always full and people are checking out books rather than buying them.