Libraries are hip once again

Have you been to your local library recently?  Extended wait times to use the computers.  Bumping elbows with another patron as you reach for a book.

The Great Recession has made the local library hip once again.  Before the Great Recession, the most activity at the library  appeared to be patrons waiting to use the computer to gain access to the internet, typically those citizens who could not afford a computer in their homes [yes, such people exist].  Those more affluent, who had a computer and internet access at home, were busy shopping online with to buy their books.  Times were easy; we all had money to spend and we spent it.

However with the Great Recession individuals began changing their behavior.  We eat out less, we buy store brand food instead of name brand food, and we clip coupons.  As we try to find ways to spend less and save more without diminishing the quality of our lives, we realized, do I really need to buy this book?  A light bulb flashed above our heads – let’s go to the local library.  Hey, it’s supported by our tax dollars, so let’s use it.

And so we are.  In fact, so many of us are using the local library, that when a new book comes out, typically you have  only one opportunity to read the book before it must be returned.  This happened to me today.  I wanted to renew two books:  Word Press For Dummies and How to Write Your Personal or Family History.  Other patrons placed a hold on these books so I had to return them.  A third book I checked out, which is due next Tuesday, I also cannot renew because of another patron’s request.  So I have a week to read The New Frugality: How to Consume Less, Save More and Live Better by Chris Farrell (Economics Editor of Marketplace Money).

By patronizing the local library, we are consuming less and saving more.


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