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Library becoming more popular as economy slows

Library becoming more popular as economy slows

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The slow economy is creating a surge in visits to the library. Instead of buying books and movies, Utahns are checking them out to save money.

Circulation in the Salt Lake City Library system is up 10 percent from a year ago, and the items most checked out, are DVDs, books on tape, and children's books. "With those types of items that they may have spent their disposable income on, since there's less disposable income, I think more people are coming here to the library to check out what we have," Andrew Shaw, the city library assistant manager of community affairs, said.

Circulation of DVDs is up 20 percent, music CDs is up 4 percent, books on tape are up 40 percent, Internet use is up 11 percent, and children's board books are up 25 percent, but video cassettes are down 30 percent.

"I think all of us are just looking for ways to use the resources around us, and see how we can stretch our dollar. The library is a great place to do that," Shaw said. He says people are realizing free Internet, movies and music at the library is cheaper than paying for it at home.

Shaw says it's happening across the nation. He said, "More people are visiting libraries, more people are checking out things from the library, more people are using the library's Internet. This shows back in 2001, with the economic crisis back then, that library use goes up when the economy goes down."


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Mary Richards


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