Tag Archives: ALA

Libraries as an Economic Stimulus

[cross posted from Austin-Pacific.com]

Watching the CBS evening news last night, I was pleased to hear President-elect Obama refer to library closures as an example of how this economic downturn is hurting communities in his remarks to the National Governors Association.

“Jobs are being cut,” he said. “Programs for the needy are at risk. Libraries are being closed. Historic sites are being closed.”

The American Library Association didn’t miss a beat and immediatly applauded him for “recognizing the effect library closings have on communities” in the Washington Office’s blog, District Dispatch. The blog cites library contributions to the economic health of communities. For example:

  • 73 percent of libraries nationwide report that they are the only provider of free Internet access in their communities
  • that number is even higher in rural communities where 83 percent of libraries are the only free provider
  • Libraries offer job search workshop, skill development, small business development classes, and technology training.

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