New fans check out libraries
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#1 Aug 22, 2008
Just for the record, most libraries have been offering free wifi for several years, and "instant gratification" collections for decades (I know Skokie offered this when I worked there 20 years ago).
The irony of the public rediscovery of libraries during tough economic times is that libraries are feeling the same pinch as everyone else. Due to dwindling tax support, many libraries are cutting collections just as the need is increasing. The Illinois State Library, which funded a free online journal and magazine service for all Illinois libraries, is cutting it this year, reducing my library's collection by over 2000 journal titles. A few years back, the State Library eliminated a free business reference service, which would have been a godsend to struggling job seekers and entrepreneurs.
Libraries are a valuable public asset, but they have to be maintained adequately if we expect them to fill the gap during lean times.
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