Surge in library usage covered by national, regional and local media

Contact: Jennifer Petersen

Public Relations Coordinator



For Immediate Release

Dec. 30, 2008

CHICAGO - Media outlets across the country are reporting that Americans are visiting their libraries more than ever, taking advantage of the free programs and services.

The American Library Association's (ALA) Public Information Office (PIO),, started educating media about this upsurge in library visits last summer. Media - large and small- started to cover this developing story and placements continue to roll in.

This week, CBS News' Katie Couric said Americans are saving money and keeping the looming recession at bay by going to their local library:

Recently, Parade Magazine picked interviewed ALA President Jim Rettig in the Dec. 21 article, "Libraries Facing Closures and Cuts." Parade is distributed to nearly 330 newspapers world-wide and reaches over 32 million people each week. The article is titled "Libraries Facing Closures and Cuts" and can be found at:

The Huffington Post, a daily online news magazine reaching more than two million visitors per month, posted an op-ed on Dec. 11 written by Rettig entitled, "Libraries Stand Ready to Help in Tough Economic Times." It can be found at:

According to the ALA's 2008 State of America's Libraries Report (, Americans visited their libraries nearly 1.3 billion times and checked out more than 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.

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