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Speak up for libraries


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How and why you should support your local library.

How and why you should support your local library.

Published in: Education
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  • 1. HEY
  • 2. Do you like to read?
  • 3. LIBRARY Do you ever spend time here?
  • 4. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before…
  • 5. “Libraries are outdated.”
  • 6. “Nobody reads print anymore-or they won’t in the future.”
  • 7. “Librarians & Google have the same job.”
  • 8. “Nobody goes to the library anymore.”
  • 9. (sigh)
  • 10. None of these things are even remotely true.
  • 11. LIBRARIESprovide free access to books, journals periodicals, the Internet, and professional research help.
  • 12. But libraries aren’t free.
  • 13. Salaries, computers, Internet services, tech support, subscriptions, books and building maintenance all cost money. And we need a lot. Because you use the library a lot.
  • 14. In 2010, public libraries served 297.6 MILLION Americans.
  • 15. That’s equivalent to 96.4% of the total U.S population.
  • 16. 91% of libraries offer free wifi 76% offer e-books 90% offer technology help to patrons
  • 17. 62% report that they are the only provider of free computer and internet access in their community
  • 18. The problem isn’t a lack of foresight. It’s a lack of money.
  • 19. 57% of libraries reported flat or decreased budgets in 2011.
  • 20. 50% don’t have enough staff to meet patrons’ job-seeking needs.
  • 21. And 65% of libraries say they don’t have enough public computers to meet demand. In cities, that number rises to 87%.
  • 22. 2.46 BILLION
  • 23. That’s how many library materials were circulated in 2010 alone. That’s billion with a B.
  • 24. 3.75 MILLION
  • 25. That’s how many programs, classes, meetings and events were held at public libraries in 2010. It averages out to one free program every day in every library in America.
  • 26. We enjoyed having you. Come back anytime.
  • 27. Here’s some more good news. There are more libraries in America than Starbucks cafes, Wal-Mart stores or McDonald’s restaurants, and library usage is increasing. But…
  • 28. For the third year in a row, 40% of state libraries report decreased state funding for public libraries. All libraries benefit from state aid, but small and rural libraries will close without it.
  • 29. Did we do something wrong?
  • 30. Right now, librarians are fighting for your rights to privacy, free speech and access to information.
  • 31. So that everyone has the opportunity to enrich their lives through reading and writing.
  • 32. Libraries help patrons of all ages, and from all walks of life learn to read, enrich their minds, find information and empower themselves.
  • 33. Which saves taxpayers money.
  • 34. Libraries are also vital to scientific and medical research.
  • 35. College and university libraries give doctors, scientists and academics access to the journals and databases they need to keep up with developments in their fields. Most of them are also partially state funded.
  • 36. Pretty cool, right?
  • 37. Yes. It’s very cool.
  • 38. But because of attitudes like this:
  • 39. “Librarians & Google have the same job.”
  • 40. Libraries are being asked to do more with less every year. (sad face)
  • 41. State and local governments are asking us to take on more responsibilities, like helping people access online education, healthcare and government services.
  • 42. At the same time they’re cutting our technology, training, staff and operating budgets. This has been going on for years.
  • 43. The cuts need to stop.
  • 44. It’s time to invest in our public, academic and school libraries so that we can meet challenges now and in the future.
  • 45. I suppose you could say this moment is overdue. (groan)
  • 46. YOU CAN HELP In fact, we can’t do it without you.
  • 47. Write to your legislators in state government. Tell them to make state funding for public libraries a priority this year and every year.
  • 48. Support (and vote for) library referendums and initiatives in your community. Say “no” to budget cuts.
  • 49. Tell your mayor, city council and county commission how much you use and value your library.
  • 50. And the next time you hear someone say
  • 51. “Libraries are outdated.”
  • 52. say
  • 53. HEYThat’s not true.
  • 54. Libraries matter.
  • 55. And if we don’t stick up for them now, then people really will stop using them.
  • 56. Because they won’t be there.
  • 57. THANK YOU From a librarian who <3’s patrons For the source of the statistics used in this presentation and other ways libraries are pretty cool, see: