Friday, April 3, 2009

The role of public libraries during the recession

Quick one today: 3 links to thought provoking articles in online newspapers gleaned from the NZ-Libs and ALA this morning:

"Our Libraries are at risk - just when we need them most" from The Guardian.

"Downturn puts more stress on libraries" from The New York Times

"How Libraries can benefit from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act" from American Libraries.

The first article looks at how local authorities are closing down libraries and reducing opening hours in Britiain. The second article examines the social problems that librarians are increasingly having to address, and the third one reports on the multi-million dollar investment in American Libraries being made in recognition of the vital role that libraries are and will continue to play in our society, especially during this recession.

Ironic, that as librarys are coming under increased demand for their services, local authorities in the UK, and NZ, are seeing them as an easy target for slashing operating budgets.

The problem is how will we manage with increased demands and pressures while our budgets are being slashed or even just remaining static. How do we fund the extra staff and resources to meet the extra demand? Our statistics show that while issues are increasing, and foot traffic too, and the range of tasks we are asked to help with, this does not translate into increases in rental or donation income.

1 comment:

John G. said...

More on this same topic: