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Libraries are More Important Than Ever & Stats Confirm It

Posted by Editor on August 8, 2011

August 5, 2011 – 1:18pm — birdie in LIS News

Downey, CA Patriot: If you thought libraries were going the way of the dinosaur, think again. Recently, on a sunny Thursday morning at 9:50, there was a group of about 20 people anxiously waiting for the Downey City Library to open its doors. At 10 a.m., the pacing hordes darted inside, many claiming computers in the computer lab, while the rest headed for the adult and children’s sections.

Libraries have long been considered an essential part of having an educated and literate population and while library budgets continue to get slashed, it could be argued that they are more essential now than ever before. Many assume that the digital age we’re living in will soon render libraries obsolete, but library attendance says otherwise.

Last year, 416,605 visits were made to the Downey City Library, which is an increase from 2009. The checkout of library materials also increased by 4 percent, with 491,355 items being loaned out. It’s more than a numbers game, however. The services that the library provides to the community are irreplaceable and so are its librarians.

Senior librarian Jan Palen has been with the Downey City Library for 16 years and as California’s economic climate becomes more volatile, the free programs that Palen and her team provide to the city become all the more crucial. One has to wonder, however: How much importance does the city place on books and reading?


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