Vermont Department of Libraries

April 17, 2007

2007 State of America’s Library report

Filed under: Programs & Resources — vtdeptlib @ 9:43 am

According to a report just released by the American Library Association, America’s libraries are being used more than ever before. Some 2 billion library visits were logged by public, school, and academic libraries during 2004, up more than 14% over 2002 and, for public libraries, 61% over 1994. The State of America’s Libraries report is available at www.ala.org/2007State

“Far from hurting American libraries, the Internet has actually helped to spur more people to use their local libraries because it has increased our hunger for knowledge and information,” said Loriene Roy, president-elect of the American Library Association. According the ALA report, virtually every library in the United States – 99 percent – provides free public computer access to the Internet, a four-fold increase in the percentage of libraries providing such free access over the last decade. By comparison, Roy pointed to another study released in March showing that only 69 percent of U.S. households have Internet access.

Even as libraries continue to evolve their services in response to changing needs and technologies, the report shows that people continue to go to their public library to read or check out a book in record numbers. Overall circulation at public libraries in the U.S. rose by 28 percent during the decade, partly driven by significant growth in circulation of children’s materials, which grew by 44 percent. Attendance in library programs for children was also up 42 percent for this same period.

Marianne Kotch

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