Facts about Libraries

  • In times of economic hardship, Americans turn to – and depend on – their libraries and librarians.
  • Libraries are part of the solution when a community is struggling economically. From free access to books and online resources for families to library business centers that help support entrepreneurship and retraining, libraries support lifelong learning.
  • Libraries are great information equalizers, where people of all ages and backgrounds can find and freely use such a diversity of resources.
  • Libraries help level the playing field for job seekers. Only 44 percent of the top 100 U.S. retailers accepted in-store paper applications. Library patrons are turning to library computers and Internet access to find work, apply for jobs online, type resumes and cover letters and open email accounts.
  • During times of economic downturn, libraries see more users because people cut back on entertainment. People are able to rent movies for free and check out CDs, use databases and download audio books.
  • Your ability to get information shouldn’t depend on your ability to pay for it.
  • Sixty-eight percent of adults in the U.S. have public library cards
  • Americans visit libraries more than 1.3 billion times and check out more than 2.1 billion items each year.
  • Libraries are among the most effective of all public services, serving more than 2/3 of the public with less than 2 percent of all tax dollars.
  • Public libraries are a bargain. Nationally, the average cost to the taxpayer for access to this wide range of public-library resources is $31 a year, about the cost of one hardcover book.
  • In a world where knowledge is power, libraries make everyone more powerful.
  • Libraries bring people and ideas together. Think of the library as the living room of your community.
  • Nearly 73% of libraries are their communities’ only source of free computer and Internet access. This rises to 82% in rural areas.
  • While Google can give you 50,000 responses to your inquiry, your librarian can help you find the one answer you need.
  • Libraries are part of the American Dream. They offer free access to all. They bring opportunity to all.
  • Libraries are for everyone, everywhere.