Libraries Facing Funding Constraints, Opt for Convenience in Shopping Malls
July 6, 2010
(ChattahBox)—Public library use is up, at the same time communities in economic distress are slashing funds, reducing staff and cutting hours. During a time of near double-digit unemployment, Americans are flocking to use the free resources provided by their public libraries, such as computers, free wifi, reading materials and a quiet place to think. To meet the demands, as well as offering convenience, a number of libraries across the country are closing older branches and opening up new locations in shopping malls. In between, shopping for a new pair of shoes and stopping to snack on a giant pretzel, people can now visit their library to make use of job hunting resources or attend a children’s story hour.
The Associated Press profiled a number of libraries, including Dallas and Cleveland that have opened up new locations at shopping malls. And the trend seems to be catching on, as traditional downtowns are fading.
Despite a recent Chicago Fox affiliate, asking if we still need libraries in the Internet age, when communities are struggling to balance their budgets, thankfully, public libraries are here to stay and are changing to meet the demands of 21st century Americans.