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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Libraries offer solace in hard times

Sunday, November 30, 2008
Last updated: Sunday November 30, 2008, BY DENISA R. SUPERVILLE STAFF WRITER
PATERSON — Before heading to his job at a carpet company in Hackensack, Jorge Maradiegue stopped by the main library on Broadway to check out three DVDs and browse the Internet from his personal laptop.
"You know how much this [costs] to rent at Blockbuster?" Maradiegue asked, motioning to copies of "The Bourne Identity," "Las Mejores Canciones Del Mundo" and "Da Vinci Code" he had borrowed. "It's more than $4 [each]. That's a lot of money.
As consumers continue to look for ways to save money in a slow economy, more and more are heading to the local public library.
People who otherwise would have gone to Barnes & Noble to buy the latest thriller or to Blockbuster to rent a new release are now giving the public libraries a second look, library directors across Passaic County say.

...They are finding that the library is not just a place to get books. Some libraries now allow users to download entire movies online, something that was unavailable until recently, they said. Others offer yoga classes.
But if the downturn continues, libraries could see their funding decease while having to serve more people.
"If the economy is down and the tax base continues to dwindle, and you have to share services for the dwindling pie of funds, it's not a pretty picture," said Alire of the American Library Association. "We are all affected by the bad economy."... continue reading

Info courtesy: Gail Zimmer

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