NBC Nightly News spotlights libraries making a difference during tough economic times

Contact: Steve Zalusky

Manager of Communications,

ALA Public Information Office

(312) 280-1546



For Immediate Release,

December 15, 2008

CHICAGO – The important role libraries are playing during tough economic times was the focus of an NBC Nightly News report recently.

The report, as well as links to American Library Association news on library funding and information on efforts by the ALA’s Washington Office to ask Congress for additional funding for the nation’s libraries, can be viewed by visiting Visibility @ your library (

The NBC report discussed how the economic climate is forcing people to find new ways to save money. “The library business, it seems, is booming,” said NBC’s Brian Williams.

Reporter Chris Jansing noted that library circulation has skyrocketed nationwide. Patrons are not only checking out books, but also using free Wi-Fi and conducting job searches and writing resumes on library computers. One library user said he does not rent videos anymore; he gets them from the library.

However, Jansing noted, the libraries themselves are struggling in the current economy. Usage is up, but budgets are way down in some communities, forcing libraries to cut hours and staff. In some cases, she said, branches have been closed altogether. In Philadelphia, there are plans to trim 11 of the 54 branches because of economic constraints.

Visibility @ your library provides librarians and library supporters with news and information about important communications issues from ALA’s Public Information Office and the Campaign for America’s Libraries.