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Public libraries fill private needs

Avatar_SJILibraryThe public library is a place folk often turn to in times of need. Individual needs are different, but data shows that more people use public libraries in times of economic recession.

Perhaps people are looking for inexpensive family entertainment and enrichment. Most libraries offer stimulating programs for youth and people of all ages, and of course there are books and videos.

Maybe people need access to a computer to look for a job or complete an online application. Once again, most public libraries provide Internet and public computer access for patrons.

It could be that people are looking for ways to make ends meet, and they need books and other library materials to help them through these times. Whatever the need, whatever the reason, Americans are using public libraries.

However, it's not just a national thing. It's very local. More people are attending San Juan Island Library programs, using SJIL public computers, checking out Library materials, and connecting to our website than ever before.

The flurry in the Library yesterday was nonstop. Students from Oregon spent most of the day in the Library conducting research. Families and teens stopped by to log in reading hours to complete the 2011 Summer Reading program. Several community groups used our meeting room throughout the day. People waited in line to access our public computers, even though the Library has nine PCs and six laptops available for use.

It was a Monday; so many people brought back videos and books from the weekend. Of course, some of these items had outstanding holds, so patrons were contacted and then came by to pick up the requested material. Add typical reference questions, computer assistance, interlibrary loan, shelving all the returned materials, and checking items in and out... and it was just another day at the San Juan Island Library.

Marjorie Harrison
Library Director
mharrison@sjlib.org

San Juan Island Library
www.sjlib.org
360.378.2798

 

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