As more and more people opt for digital resources, there is the feeling that the age of public libraries is over. But actually, libraries are needed now more than ever. We are in a time of economic crisis. Many cannot afford computer or internet access at home, continued education and language learning classes, or technology training. And in today’s world, it is hard to achieve success without basic literacy, language and technological skills. So, people are turning to their local libraries.
A study conducted by the Center for an Urban Future, published on January 8 of this year, has found that libraries in New York have experienced a 40% increase in the number of people attending programs and a 59% rise in circulation since 2002. Usage of New York’s public library branches has increased by 50%, while funding has been cut by 8%. New York libraries are not the only ones who have had budget cuts, and at the same time, a surge in demand for the library’s free resources. Despite their growing importance, libraries have been severely undervalued with city policymakers. How are libraries supposed to keep up when cities keep cutting their funding? This study discusses some creative and effective tips that libraries can utilize to trim spending, bring in more money, and better allocate their budget.
In spite of the drop in funding, libraries also need to evolve with the rapidly changing digital world to survive−cater not only to book lovers, but also to audiobook enthusiasts and the digital savvy. In the January 11, 2013 edition of Southern Maryland Weekend, Emily Ferren, director of the Charles County Public library, said, “libraries are places that offer opportunities for lifelong learning and that ‘lifelong learning is not just print.’” RBdigital, a division of Recorded Books, offers a wide selection of affordable digital services for libraries. Our OneClickdigital platform provides best-selling titles as digital audiobooks and eBooks are coming soon! Zinio is an online digital magazines service equipped with the top titles that your patrons want to read. Universal Class offers online continuing education courses to further your patrons’ educational or personal interests. RBdigital has the resources to help prepare your patrons for job searching, teach them how to use the latest software with Atomic Training, and even provide help on standardized tests with RB Test Prep. We also have online language learning products for all skills levels and ages, including Transparent Language Online and Signing Savvy—great for world travelers, patrons interested in learning a second language, or even sign language. Find out more about all of our digital services available for libraries here!
And to all of you patrons− help create lifelong learning opportunities by supporting your library!