Library traffic increases as economy slumps

March 15, 2009

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- Officials with the Franklin County (Pa.) Library System say the slumping economy has prompted a spike in library services.

Throughout the system, 43,000 more items were circulated in 2008 than 2007. That increase compares to an increase of 2,800 from 2006 to 2007, according to a news release.

Grove Family Library of Chambersburg saw an 18 percent increase in circulation in 2008, the news release states.

"I had at least one patron tell me that she was very thankful for the Bookmobile because she wouldn't be able to afford the books," said Amanda Flagle, the Bookmobile and outreach librarian for the library system.

Waynesboro, Pa.'s Alexander Hamilton Memorial Free Library experienced 51.5 percent increased participation in its programs in 2008, according to the release.


In Greencastle, Pa., Lilian S. Besore Memorial Library Director Laura Greenlee reported dramatically increased demand for computer and Internet use.

"Those who are most economically disadvantaged are coming to the library (for Internet) because a lot of jobs people can only apply to online," Greenlee said in the release.

The American Library Association reports that library services cost each taxpayer about $31 a year. The organization says more than 2 billion items are checked out each year from public libraries, with the average user checking out at least seven books a year.

The Franklin County Library System serves Coyle Free Library in Chambersburg, Grove Family Library, Lilian S. Besore Memorial Library, Fort Loudon (Pa.) Community Library, St. Thomas (Pa.) Library, the Bookmobile, Alexander Hamilton Memorial Free Library and Blue Ridge Summit (Pa.) Free Library.

The Herald-Mail Articles