CBS Nightly News:Â Libraries are becoming the ‘hot spot for just about everyone’

Contact: Mark Gould


ALA Public Information Office

(312) 280-1546


For Immediate Release,

February 10, 2009

CHICAGO - During the CBS Nightly News on Feb. 2, correspondent Sandra Hughes reported that, “ In tough economic times (the library) is becoming the hot spot for everyone”. The piece talked about the increase in library card signup on a national basis and informed the audience how Los Angeles public libraries had 18 million visitors in 2008, two million more than the previous year. The story can be viewed at

The recent work of the ALA Public Information Office has generated many stories on this topic. “Business Brisk at Area Libraries: In bad times, free resources are a hot commodity,” a lengthy article appeared in the Feb. 2 Washington, It describes the increase in  use in area libraries.

On Dec. 31, 2008, Katie Couric reported on the
CBS Evening News segment
“Notebook: Libraries” that “Americans are saving money, and keeping the looming recession at bay, by going to their local libraries to rent books, CDs and DVDs,” adding that libraries are “hotter than ever.”

On Jan. 7,
The New York Times blog
Freakonomics wrote an article entitled “
The Public Library Renaissance,” in which the author reported that fewer people bought books, CDs and DVDs 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.

Since August, more than 400 articles on the surge in library use have been published in magazines, newspapers and on Web sites.

PIO has developed publicity tools to help librarians tell their stories in their communities. Press releases, talking points and an FAQ on the surge in library visits can be found in the “Advocating in a Tough Economy toolkit at