Rising to the challenge: a look at the role of public libraries in times of recession

Source: Christine Rooney-Browne, Library Review, Vol. 58 no. 5, 2009
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From the abstract:
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the role public libraries play in times of economic crisis and to highlight the potential impact of recession on the future development of public library services.

Early evidence suggests that public library usage rises as the economy declines. Public library authorities in the UK and USA have reported huge increases in visitor numbers, shifts in societal expectations, and demands for specific “job related” resources and services. Although public libraries have emerged as vital services in times of recession it is perceived that they will be subject to ongoing review over the next few years as governments and local councils attempt to cut public spending.

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