Need a new book? Go to the library!

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SHIRA WEISS, a 34-year-old publicist, showed up one day with her two children at the Teaneck Public Library for the first time in years after her husband had gently inquired why she needed to spend so much on books.

She applied for a new library card and — after taking out two chick-lit novels, an illustrated “Star Wars” book for her 5-year-old, Jake, and two animal books for her 2-year-old, Ben — she instinctively pulled out her wallet to pay.

“I guess it will take an adjustment period until I realize that some of the best things in life are indeed free,” she said.

Ms. Weiss’s cheerfully erratic return to her local library illustrates a surprising upside to the economic downturn: Libraries are booming.

Indeed, the bad news on the economy is good news for libraries across the New York region, so long as they can escape the budget ax that is falling on many municipal services as cities and towns struggle with declining revenue.

People are flocking to libraries after forsaking Barnes & Noble or ditching their HBO service and subscriptions to Netflix, library officials said, because libraries’ books, DVDs and CDs have a significant advantage: They are free.

Some people are showing up at libraries for the first time for free entertainment — movies, lectures, concerts and puppet shows, library officials said. Still others are capitalizing on their newspaper racks, books and free Internet service for job searches and investment advice or advice on a topic that the title of a much-thumbed book makes obvious: “Surviving a Layoff: A Week-by-Week Guide to Getting your Life Back Together.”

There is an incongruity in libraries’ providing such a wealth of free services because libraries themselves are vulnerable to the economy. Towns and school districts have started to make cuts, and library hours and employees are frequent targets.

In Maplewood, Jane Kennedy, the library director, is grappling with a 10 percent cut to her budget, reducing it to $1.7 million, and she lamented that she is contemplating layoffs, payless furloughs and shorter hours.

“People need us more than ever, and we’re not going to be there for them,” she said, noting that circulation had climbed 8 percent from 2007 to 2008, to 235,285 items. “People count on us and we want to do more, not less.”

Librarians said they had not had to make major increases in purchases of books and DVDs, only shrewder ones — buying extra copies of, say, a John Grisham novel and cutting back on books that might not have as large a readership.

For now, libraries are welcoming their new popularity.

In Chappaqua, in Westchester County, Pamela C. Thornton, the director of the Chappaqua Library, said that circulation in December was up 22.3 percent from December 2007, with patrons checking out 35,692 books, DVDs, CDs and other items.

In Teaneck, patronage for the last quarter of 2008 was up 7 percent compared with the previous year’s last quarter, with 144,500 items borrowed, according to Michael McCue, the library’s director.

The Bergen County Cooperative Library System, a consortium of 75 libraries in northern New Jersey, reported an 8.2 percent increase in borrowing in 2008, with 10,887,000 items taken out.

“People are reawakening to all the things the library has to offer, and unfortunately this is because of the economic downturn,” said Arlene Sahraie, the library services director for the Bergen County network. “There’s a saying among librarians that libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.”

Robert White, the director of the network, said he had calculated that “the average yearly value to every card used in our system was $706.”

“You don’t get that kind of rebate on the Discover Card,” Mr. White said. “And it’s all free.”

As in Ms. Weiss’s case, librarians said they were noticing more adults getting library cards for the first time, or sheepishly explaining that they had lost their cards or even paying long-neglected late fees so they could use the library’s free Internet service.

Jude Schanzer, the director of programming at the East Meadow Public Library, on Long Island, tells the story of a middle-class woman in her 50s who dropped in late last year after work and applied for a library card. She confided to a librarian that it was the first library card she had possessed since childhood.

“Now I don’t have to buy my books,” she told Ms. Schanzer. “This is how I’m cutting back.”

In Ridgefield, an affluent Connecticut town where many residents work at nearby companies like Pepsi, General Electric and I.B.M., people are tapping the public library’s free services even if they are financially comfortable enough for now, library officials said.

“I just think people are hunkering down,” said Christina Nolan, the library’s director. “They may not have to cut out Netflix, but they’re choosing to do so because they don’t know what’s around the corner.”

Indeed, as Ms. Nolan spoke, Ann Harrington, a mother of two married to a freelance illustrator whose assignments, she said, were slipping, was carrying a half-dozen DVDs, including “A Few Good Men” and “The Upside of Anger,” as well as the inspirational football film “Facing the Giants,” which her whole family could watch.

Ms. Nolan said attendance was up 20 percent at the library’s abundant — and free — weekend and weeknight programs, with residents opting for those rather than tickets to Broadway or Lincoln Center or a movie at the multiplex. Ms. Nolan has shown the Batman movie “The Dark Knight” and “Man on Wire,” the documentary about the Twin Towers tightrope walker, to packed houses of about 100 people, something she said would not have happened a year ago.

Last fall in Chappaqua, a showing of “Waitress,” with a sweetener of 15 pies to highlight a movie motif, brought out 95 people.

East Meadow is a blue-collar and middle-class hamlet of 40,000 on Long Island, and attendance in the library’s adult programs has gone up by almost 2,000 in a year to 19,241. So many children now attend “Storytime” that the library runs two sections to accommodate all comers.

In Maplewood, Ms. Kennedy, the head librarian, said she had noticed more fathers bringing their children in during the day, “more than we’ve ever seen before.” She said she assumed that some of them may have lost their jobs and had the time to take their children to the library.

Fewer au pairs are bringing children in because some stay-at-home mothers are doing without such help, librarians in Ridgefield said. In Chappaqua and Ridgefield, families are signing up for free passes to places like the Museum of Natural History and the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, library officials said.

“Here you’d think, ‘Chappaqua? People can afford to go,’ but they’re constantly in use,” Ms. Thornton, the library director, said of the passes. “We’re finding people fighting over them.”

In Ridgefield, Ms. Nolan said she had observed that people who have lost jobs in a town where two-acre zoning can isolate them are finding their way to the library to seek congenial company.

“The library is used as a gathering place for people who are intelligent and have similar values so they’re not as isolated,” she said. “We have days that 1,400 people come through our doors. That’s a lot for a town of 24,000.”

With unemployment rising, people are flocking to the library for help in finding jobs or switching careers or brushing up résumés or checking the financial ratings of companies that are advertising for help, library officials said.

In Maplewood, librarians decided so many people were asking for information about finding jobs that three weeks ago they began holding workshops on skills that longtime jobholders may never have needed, like uploading résumés on

“We thought we’d be getting people who were looking for jobs at Home Depot, but instead we got all white-collar professionals,” Ms. Kennedy said. “That took us back for a minute.”

In East Meadow recently, four of the nine Internet-ready computers were being used for job searches.

One of the searchers was Gary Eisele, 54, who lost his job as a customer service representative for American Home Mortgage Investment, a Melville, N.Y.-based firm that filed for bankruptcy in 2007. Mr. Eisele, one of 1,400 people let go on Long Island, has taken some temporary jobs and was checking help-wanted ads on and in the library because, he said, he could no longer afford home Internet service.

When “Slumdog Millionaire” started winning its haul of best picture awards, Mr. McCue, the Teaneck Public Library director, went out and bought copies of the book it is based on. He said he knew there would be requests the next day.

While meeting patrons’ needs, libraries are facing austerity themselves. Teaneck’s library, with a $2.5 million budget costing each homeowner $140, has begun talking to the township about possible cuts, said Mr. McCue.

Ridgefield’s library, with a $2 million budget, has been hit with a $60,000 cut this year, which it has been able to absorb with small adjustments, but officials there worry about what may happen when the town votes on its budget in May. To give itself a cushion, the library raised late fees to 25 cents from 10 cents.

Nonetheless, Ms. Nolan, of the Ridgefield Library, said she thinks that sustaining free services is essential.

“A library is the people’s university,” she said. “From cradle to grave, you can come here and learn about ballet, astronomy, gem cutting or whatever you want.”


71 responses to “Need a new book? Go to the library!

  1. I would have to disagree with this article. Even though books at the library are free, it doesn’t mean people are reading more. Of course it’s a benefit for you because you don’t need to actually buy books, but if you really need money why would you be reading? Wouldn’t you have to work in order to make a living? Where would you actually have time to read? Also, the economy has been pretty bad for a while now, so why haven’t people been going to libraries long ago? What is different now then years ago? I understand that maybe a library is good for someone that doesn’t have any money to waste, but what’s the point. Yes, you can get books for your children, but don’t you want to actually take up the opportunity to enjoy reading yourself?

  2. This article is very true in my opinion. If you get offered something for free, you should always take it because you never know when it might come in handy. That is why the library is a very helpful place to get movies and books. it is always good to take a trip to the library every once and a while because you never know what is there that you might need some time.

  3. I agree with this article one hundred percent. Who would buy a book at Boarder’s for fifteen dollars, when you can get the same exact book at your public library for free. Plus you can get movies, cd’s, and internet access at your library for free. The library is a great place to go to get things in this economy because you don’t have to spend a penny out of your wallet. And with that money that you saved you can spend it on important things that you need, like food, gas, medicine, clothes etc.

  4. I think that the library has a ton of advantages. You basically have almost unlimited access to hundreds of thousands of books, DVDs, and CDs among many other useful items. I think that since all of these services, including the use of internet are free, it should come as no surprise that people are turning to libraries now more than ever in the midst of an economic disaster. People probably see that instead of paying ten dollars for a book at Barnes and Noble, paying money for DVD rentals, and using money to buy CDs or MP3s, it would seem more logical to just check out one of those items at a Library for free. And even if you forget to return a book or other item on time, or just want to spend a little more time reading the book you checked out, late fees can cost you as little as ten cents a day at a library. I would say that is a much better deal than paying ten dollars or more on a book that you may not even enjoy, especially when your budget may be a little tighter than usual during these rough economic times.

  5. Surprisingly, I do not agree with the article. I do realize that a few more people would go to the library because almost everything there is free. The thing I have trouble understanding is that why more people would want to or have time to read. I am not demoting reading in any way, but in today’s generation, reading is not as popular as you would hope it would be. Everyone is too hooked in to technology. Plus, a lot of people would not have the time they would hope for to be able to read. Many people have 2-3 jobs and do not have the time. Going to the library is probably not even an option them at this point of the economic crisis.

    • I completely and totally agree with you! Where is the time to even read if you need to make a living and work? You really made some good points about how it’s not even an option to go to the library. In my opinion, when the economy is bad, reading is a luxury. Great job on your comment!

  6. This article is completely true in my opinion. The economy is down so people want to enjoy the free things in life. It is silly to buy something you can get for free. It is very interesting that people are getting movies and other things from the library instead of Netflix, Blockbuster etc. I don’t think I would have ever thought of the library as a place to rent movies. It is a very good idea because you can get them for free instead of having to pay the $5 per movie at blockbuster or even going out to see a movie which could cost $10 plus snacks. Next time I want to watch a movie, I will try going to the library first.

  7. “… some of the best things in life are indeed free,” says Shira Weiss, as she refers to how libraries across the New York region are booming in the bad economy. Since people are going through economic problems people shouldn’t buy books from Barnes&Noble or rent movies from Blockbuster. Why spend money on entertainment like this when you can get it free at your library? I agree with this article completely it makes so much sense to join your library for free books, advice, movies, shows and computer use.

    • I agree with you 100% because it doesn’t make sense to pay for something when you can get it free at the library. Good job.

  8. I completely agree with this article! Libraries are one of the best places to be when the economy is bad, with all the free things. Why wouldn’t anyone want to get something from the library? This article is saying that people go to places where they can get free things (duh) like libraries. Like I said I agree with this article.

  9. I completely agree with this article. First, libraries are free and available to everybody; so instead of going to a bookstore and buying the same copy, I don’t see why someone would not get it at a library! Second, everyone enjoys a good book once and a while but in this economy many people would rather spend their money on food, clothing etc. and not books so having libraries makes it easy and affordable for everyone to be able to read and stay educated.

    • I agree with you! I think you made a really good point about the economy and education. I like your thoughts a think that they are very thorough.

  10. I agree with this article completely. The library is full of information, always. When the economy is bad or good the information is always there. In the article there was a point when it said that new adults are coming in saying how they need cards, or lost theirs and need new ones. I think this part is very true especially when the economy is low. This is because they are getting the chance to learn new things at a free price. People realize that the library is full of free information and want to be part of that experience. By learning information at a library after a job loss can help them learn what it is they need to know in order to get a job. I think more people need to take part in this experience, and get cards so they have the opportunity to get books, to help them in their lives. The gift of reading and learning new information at a free price is great no matter how the economy is.

  11. Today, almost nothing is free. Libraries are one of those things that are still a free resource. Most people are used to downloading a book on their Kindle or iPad, Nook etc., and that costs money. To use all of the resources that the library has to offer, all you need is a library card. The library is more than a place to get a book. The library offers a quiet place to go if you have to do a project or just to have peace and quiet and read or do your homework. Many people are forgetting about the library, even though its a great resource.

  12. I think the local library is a great place to go for information, in times of a bad economy or not. I agree with Andy V. who basically said it is sad that it takes the economy to make this change. A library is made for research and storing books etc. to help you succeed in some way or another. Websters definition for library is: a collection of films, books, recorded music, genetic material, etc., organized systematically and kept for research or borrowing. Libraries also have all the materials you will need to complete a project, they have a computer, printer, and books and its all basically free. But most importantly most kids and some adults don’t know how to use a library so in that respect, the bad economy is helping, because using a library is something you will do for the rest of your life.

    • “… some of the best things in life are indeed free,” says Shira Weiss, as she refers to how libraries across the New York region are booming in the bad economy. Since people are going through economic problems people shouldn’t buy books from Barnes&Noble or rent movies from Blockbuster. Why spend money on entertainment like this when you can get it free at your library? I agree with this article completely it makes so much sense to join your library for free books, advice, movies, shows and computer use.

    • The library has everything you could need for school. If your computer breaks, you can use the computers at the library. If you need a book, you can go to the library. You can even get movies at the library. All of this is available at little or no charge.

    • I do agree with you in the sense that the libraries have all of the materials and texts that would be vital to doing a project or other assignment that requires information. Basically, libraries hold more information than any other place in the world, which would probably be really useful to someone our age that is struggling to find correct information for an assignment. I think that this aspect of libraries is probably contributing greatly to the increase in popularity among libraries.

  13. The library is a great place to go in tough economic times like these. Since money is tight for most people a great way to obtain books, movies and music is the library. Because the library is free, many who are on budgets or are trying to cut back can access these things for no price. There is somewhat of a responsibility element to it too. You have to get the materials back to the library on time. I have experienced this numerous times when I lose the materials or forget the due date. Because of this responsibility element, it is great way to teach children about being responsible for their borrowings. The library is also a great place for those who are unemployed , to submit resumes through the internet. The library is also a great, quiet workplace for those who do have jobs but do not have a home office space. Living space may be tight , so the library is a great place to get work done. The library is great place for all ages.

    • I think the local library is a great place to go for information, in times of a bad economy or not. I agree with Andy V. who basically said it is sad that it takes the economy to make this change. A library is made for research and storing books etc. to help you succeed in some way or another. Websters definition for library is: a collection of films, books, recorded music, genetic material, etc., organized systematically and kept for research or borrowing. Libraries also have all the materials you will need to complete a project, they have a computer, printer, and books and its all basically free. But most importantly most kids and some adults don’t know how to use a library so in that respect, the bad economy is helping, because using a library is something you will do for the rest of your life.

    • I agree with you how this is also a responsibility element. Kids need to know how to borrow and be able to return books. When I was little I used to be very bad at returning books to the library. Soon I realized the consiquenses can cost you, and I was able to improve how I return books. Now, that experiance has helped me be more responsible today, and will help me in the future when I need a job. Good thought!

  14. I agree with this article, not only are libraries cheap and easy ways to read, but also, if you are uncertain about a book, instead of buying it not knowing if you like it you can just get it from the library!

    • I definitely agree with your comment. Libraries cost about three dollars because all you need is library card and you will never have to pay again, and if I’m uncertain about a book I don’t want to spend $20 of my own money only to finish the book in a couple of days or find out I don’t like the book.

    • Excellent comment, I completely agree with you. If you do buy a book from a store and you hate it, it was a waste of money. But if you get it from the library and you hate it, it doesn’t really matter because you got it for free. That was a good point you had there.

  15. This article does not supriae me. It only makes sense that when the economic times get harder people begin to cut off there costly premium entertainment servicesand begin looking for a cheeper way to entertain themselves, and what is cheeper then free. I see it all around me, recently I have noticed that more and more people go to my local library, I think this is in direct correlation to the economy. I myself have even been getting more books from the library as opposed to my old ways, purchasing books from books stores.

    • I have also changed my ways of going to Borders and such for my books and am now going to the public libraries. I have not noticed much of a change of the number of people going to the libraries. I am not sure that there is much correlation between the two, but I do get what point you are trying to get across.

  16. Depending on what you use like a book or a kindle or amazon the library could be useful or a waste. In my mind i feel as though the library is a great idea for the communitity. It’s beleivable that when the economy worsens the libraries get more people. They want to get free books and its as simple as buying one and much cheaper!

  17. I think that it is a good thing that people are finially realizing the useful and enjoyment aspects of their local library. The library is a treasure trove of free information that is open for public use. It is unfortunate though that it took the economic downturn to bring people to this realization. But as one quote I have heard, “only on the brink of distruction will humans change.” It may not be the destruction of the world but instead the distruction of peoples bank accouts that has made them “see the light” and advantages of their local libary.

  18. In summary, this article is about how the library is a good useful way to save money during these tough economic times. I agree with this article in that people are going to the library to save money. There is no point or sense to spending money at Barnes & Noble for a book that you could easily get at the library. The same goes for movies, why purchase a movie on Netflix or Blockbuster when you can get the same movie for free at the library?

    • It makes perfects sense to, doesn’t it? You want to watch a movie- rent it from the library for free and then return it once you’re done instead of watching it once and shoving it in a cabnet to sit unused

  19. I think that it would be very very silly to buy it. If you could just go and check out the book then either renew it or return it. Then when you want to read it you just check it out again. It is just a waste of $15 on a book that wold just collect dust until you want to read it again.

    • I agree but sometimes the library could be farther away then a blockbuster so you might go there for a wider selection and convinience

  20. After reading this article I fully agree with having libraries around during our terrible economy. It made me realize what a waste of money all the books I have bought in the past are. When I finish reading a book that I may have bought for ten dollars it just sits on my book shelve and collects dust after I finish reading it. Libraries however, allow you to read books for free and when you finish return them so another person can enjoy it. Also people cant afford to be throwing away money just to read a book for a week or two. This could be helping people save money and get a chance to read their favorite books. Libraries are also not just for books, but for movies. Instead of buying a DVD and watching it once and never see it again people can now save money and give it back for other people to watch. Overall having libraries around town is a great idea for people to save money, enjoy a book, or find a movie to watch with family or friends.

  21. I strongly agree with this article. The library’s advantage of being free is very useful. There aren’t many good reasons to pay for something when you can easily obtain it for free. There are also a few ways in which I believe the article is wrong. I think that the library is not completely free. First of all, you pay taxes for your house to be able to get a library card. Also, if you are someone who is not well organized, you may end up owing the library a lot of money when you do not return something on time. The advantage of buying books is that you have them for yourself. Another thing I disagree with is that it is not always comfortable to get things from a library. Many people use electronic devices to get their books and find it easier. I do understand why an electric device would be more comfortable but, I still agree that people should get things for free if they can.

  22. I agree with this article, it makes total sense. Why would someone spend money on a book when they can get it for free? Also, I think that it is great that people are getting library cards and going to concerts, plays, movies, etc. at libraries. I do think though that when an adult goes to a library and gets a library card and tells the librarian that it is their first one since childhood, it kind of makes them look stupid. That would give me the impression that that person doesn’t read even if they buy their own books. Overall I thought this was an interesting article and it is good to hear that people are going to libraries more and more.

    • Joshua, I totally agree with your statement on how people look stupid when they get their first library card since childhood. Uttering those words aloud are just simply embarrassing.

  23. I have a Kindle, and despite this, I am currently reading a library book, and intend to get a few more. There’s really no reason to buy a book when it’s available for free, unless it’s a really good book that you want many future generations to read.

  24. I think that the main idea of this article is to let people know how because of the downfall of the economy had a positive affect on libraries. I find it interesting that people are now using the library as a free way to entertain themselves. I think that is a really good way to cut back, but still entertain themselves. Like the guy who went to the library for internet access, because he was not able to afford Internet at his house. So I can now conclude that the library is helping make lives better for people, even in such a poor economy. This may even influence more services to do free events for people that are struggling to stay “above the water.”

    • I agree with you. I like that you mentioned the economy and also like how you said the library also has free computer access. I also think that it would be a very good thing if other services provided more things for free.

  25. This article makes a lot of sense to me. Since the economy is down right now people don’t want to go and spend more money on books. Going to a library is a great idea. You can read any book you want and its free! You can also rent movies for free! Why should you have to go pay if something is free. People today are trying to find every way to save money this is why the libraries are “booming”. Libraries are also much more convenient than book stores. The library is five minutes away from my house. Going to Barnes and Noble is like 20 minutes away. This also saves money because you are saving gas. This is why the libraries today are booming.

    • I agree with your thinking. Why would someone want to drive all the way to Barnes and Noble to buy a book when you could walk to your town’s library? The only reason I can think of is they want to keep the book, but I do think that you can buy books from the library. Since the economy is declining, many people are losing their jobs and have nothing else to do but read, or they can’t afford to buy new books. This article makes total sense and I completely agree with it.

  26. I think this article states how needed libraries really are. If a book you really want is $9.99 at Barnes and Knoble, why would you waste your money when you could just get it for free at the library? Think of all the money per month you could save by using the library. the only dis-advantage is if you are not very organized, and you lose the book, you could end up having to pay a huge late fee. So if you are going to get a library card, make sure you won’t lose the book! I also found it interesting that so many people were looking for jobs on the libraries computers. Now that I think about, it makes sense. If you lose your job, something you may want to cut back on is internet service. If you have to do that, it’s free at the library! Without libraries, people would be wasting money on books they could be getting for free.

    • That is so true because I would definetly not pay $10 to get a book. Then after I read the book it would probably just sit on my book shelf forever.

  27. I agree with this article completly because right no he economy is very bad and with candy books can be good to have. It doesnt cost a lot to rent a book but it cost like $10 to $30 fo a simple book or a long movie. Buy a library card because it costs nothing to get get a book fom a library. Its also a good idea for people who are going to be buying a lot of books to get a library card because that will save you lots of money during a bad tie in the economy. Now instead of spending your time inside watching a movie, you could be reading outside i a nice peaseful place.

    • I agree with you for the most part but you forgot that there are free (or almost free) movies at the library. You do not need to sacrifices the enjoyment of movies in order to enjoy the library, that’s what makes the library great, you can enjoy both.

  28. I think this article makes a lot of sense. People in this tough economy would much rather read books for free than go to the bookstore and buy the same book for money. A disadvantage is that you are guaranteed a new copy that is in perfect conditions where books at a public library it could be torn up. People are also accustomed to going to a movie store to rent movies for money. At the public libraries you can buy the same movies for free. Finally, going to public libraries is a wonderful a choice and I believe everyone should consider it.

    • I completely agree with what you said, and also think that it is a great way to save money. Even though you aren’t going to get a copy in perfect condition.

  29. This article is completely correct. When people have a loss of money and have a demand for something they always look for the cheapest way. Like the library, bookstores are places where you can get a book except it costs money. More people are choosing the library because they realized that they cannot afford new books and can only take one out at the library. This way they can save money.

    • i completly agree with you on this. When people are in need of entertainment, and they don’t have a lot of money a library card can be thei way of getting this entertainment.

  30. This article is trying to say that people are starting to return to their public library instead of going out to a book store like Barnes and Nobel and spending money on books. Their are advantages to a library. One advantage to libraries is you can go and take out one or two books and read them for free. The disadvantage of a library is that you can’t keep the books. You have to return the books to the library before a certain date before it becomes late or overdue. The quote in the article states “I guess it will take an adjustment period until I realize that some of the best things in life are indeed free.”

    • I agree. One of the disadvantages is that you have to return the books, but with the returning of books children and older children seem to learn responsibility of taking care of another owner’s property. And if they don’t learn this lesson, their consequence is having to pay late fees. I’ve learned that lesson over and over again, and I’m progressively getting better.

  31. I think that libraries are very important at times like now because the books and movies are free and many people don’t have the money to pay for them. Every time you get a book from the library instead of buying one, you are saving about 15 dollars and after a long period of time that adds up to be a lot. Going to libraries instead of book stores is also more convenient because they are in almost every town, which uses less gas and saves even more of your money. I think that it is very important for every town to have a library and that they stay free.

    • I fully agree with your thinking. It is convenient to go to a nearby library instead of going to a bookstore, which is not always in town. I like how you mentioned that by the library being near, it saves money on gasoline used for transportation. Good Writing! : )

  32. I can see why libraries are booming now. Nobody has the money to go out and buy books. If they do, many would probably rather use it for something else, like a grocery bill. Paperback books usually cost about $10 now, but at your local library, they are free as long as you bring them back. People used to just go out and buy books that they wanted to read and that is probably why towns are making financial cuts on libraries; they are stuck in the past when people bought whatever books they wanted to read. I think that reading this article may change their mind.

    • I do agree that even the people that do have enough money to buy books would rather spend it on something else. I also agree that people who have read this article and usually buy books will probably change, because they didn’t realize what they could be saving. I know I am going to use the library more, now that i have read this.

    • I also see why libraries are booming now too. I agree with you were you say people have other things they could use the money for like the grocery bill. Those $10 on a paperback book could be used towards gas, groceries, or even medicine. But since library books are free people have that $10 in their pocket for something more important.

  33. I can definitely see why libraries are becoming more popular in town, instead of buying books at bookstores. Public libraries are convenient because there’s one in every town, and all you need is a library card and you can get as many books as you wish, for free, rather than spending money to read a book you’re only going to read once, maybe twice. In this economy especially, reading is a better way of entertainment than movies and games because it’s educational and most importantly, free.

    • Libraries are convenient. It also saves people money on gas because like you said, they don’t have to go out of town to get a book. Nice point.

    • Great points! I agree with how reading is a better way of entertainment than movies and games because it’s educational and most importantly, free. People should start reading more to get better educated.

    • I agree 100%. I like how you said that instead of buying a book that you will only read once or twice, it is smarter to take out a book from the library!

  34. This article completely addresses that libraries have become the new “hot-spots” because of the economic downfall. I agree with the statement that many people go to libraries to rent books, movies, games etc. instead of buying them. I think that it is a fantastic idea to go to a library instead of purchasing items at a bookstore/movie store. The amount of money you could save if you are a frequent book reader adds up to hundreds of dollars in a year! Why spend valuable money on HBO or Netflix when you can easily get the same movies at the library for no cost at all? Sure you might have to wait for the latest books or movies, but if all you have to do is remain curious for a few weeks, isn’t that worthsaving 15-20 bucks? Overall, libraries are a solution to people all across a town who want books, movies, job classes or even storytelling without any out-of-pocket cost.

    • I completely agree with your viewpoint on the advantages of libraries. It’s so true that the money you can save by renting items at the library instead of buying items at the bookstore/ movie store really adds up!

    • I agree with what you said. Money is very valuable, which is why libraries are so important!Especially if you read a lot, the money soon turns into hundreds of dollars!

  35. I think that this article shows a lot of really key points in why libraries are vital in communities all around the country. When the author mentioned how people were cancelling their Netflix subscriptions and/or “ditching” HBO. I wasn’t at all surprised by this because if I was an adult negatively affected by the recession, I would do the exact same thing, stop paying for things that I could easily get for free. Netflix and HBO are very expensive and to pay that much in a recession is mediocre, why pay $165 for HBO and/or $8.00 a month for Netflix, yes it seems cheap to simply pay $8.00 a month but stupid when you can get those same movies or games from a library. Even, as they mentioned, internet, which was used o find jobs, isn’t that what counts? A place where less fortunate, or even fortunate people can go to save some money and get the exact same thing for free.

    • I agree with every single one of your points. They were cleaver and well thought out and make perfect sense. I would probably do the same thing if I was an adult too.

    • I completely agree with what you said about the recession related to the downfall of Netflix and HBO and uproar of libraries (with the same movies offered at no cost). I also think that what you said about how people can get the same exact items at a library for free is totally true. I know I am going to a library instead of bookstore next time I am looking for a great book to read.

    • I agree with your opinions on HBO and Netflix. Why pay the money when you can get the same thing for free. Also, when you stated it is a place for the fortunate and less fortunate to get books and videos for free which is another great point. Well done.

  36. I think that the article is trying to prove that people buy more books when the economy is bad. I would agree to that statement because reading books is a good alternative for entertainment instead of buying movies and games. Its also a good idea for people who are going to be buying a lot of books to get a library card because that will save u lots and lots of money during a recession. So getting a library card to get books for entertainment is a good strategy to save money for people that can’t afford to be wasting money on useless things just to give them something to do when there bored.

    • I agree with what you said, getting a library card is a huge advantage in an economy like the one we have. Also, you said reading was a good alternative to movies and games and that is really true, reading expands vocabulary and knowledge while movies, unless they are biographies or documentaries, won’t as much.

      • I do agree with your comments Kevin. I think that people should go to the library more often. I agree when you say people cant afford wasting their money. This is one fine blogging job Mr. Kevin.

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