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from friday’s nytimes:

People are flocking to libraries after forsaking Barnes & Noble or ditching their HBO service and subscriptions to Netflix, library officials said, because libraries’ books, DVDs and CDs have a significant advantage: They are free.

an interjected no-duh here is unwarranted but can’t be helped.

…There is an incongruity in libraries’ providing such a wealth of free services because libraries themselves are vulnerable to the economy. Towns and school districts have started to make cuts, and library hours and employees are frequent targets.

In Maplewood, Jane Kennedy, the library director, is grappling with a 10 percent cut to her budget, reducing it to $1.7 million, and she lamented that she is contemplating layoffs, payless furloughs and shorter hours.

“People need us more than ever, and we’re not going to be there for them,” she said, noting that circulation had climbed 8 percent from 2007 to 2008, to 235,285 items. “People count on us and we want to do more, not less.”

…“People are reawakening to all the things the library has to offer, and unfortunately this is because of the economic downturn,” said Arlene Sahraie, the library services director for the Bergen County network. “There’s a saying among librarians that libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/15/nyregion/new-jersey/15librarynj.html?_r=1&emc=eta1

ranganathan would be proud.

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