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Thousands Turn to NV Libraries in Hard Times



September 22, 2008

Las Vegas, NV – As many Nevadans find their entertainment dollars stretched to the breaking point, they're following a national trend by taking advantage of all the "free stuff" available at their local libraries.

Nationwide, Americans made 1.3 billion visits to libraries in the past year, where they checked out two billion books, DVDs, and other entertainment and learning sources. According to the National Library Association, that's a ten percent increase over 2001, which was the last time a sour economy drove folks to the library.

At the Boulder City Library District, director Lynn Schofield-Dahl says the Silver State's hard times also are reflected in library users' choices.

"They've cancelled their home Internet access and are using the library's. A lot of people also say it's just too expensive to get a new printer cartridge right now, so they'll come to the library to make their printouts."

Another way to look at the library is as "pre-paid" entertainment. As Schofield-Dahl points out, taxpayers support their public libraries, so it only makes sense to use such services as Internet access, rental DVDs, audio books and more.

"We like to see people walking out with lots of stuff in their arms. It's their tax dollars at work, and we take great pleasure in helping the people find what they need."

There are eight days left in "National Library Card Month," a time set aside to prompt both students and adults to stop by their local library with current photo identification and sign up for a library card. Application must be made in person; after that, reserving books and accessing information can be done from home, either by telephone or online.

Michael Clifford/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - NV
 

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