Tuesday, January 8, 2013

As Use of Libraries Grows, Government Support Has Eroded - NYTimes.com

As Use of Libraries Grows, Government Support Has Eroded - NYTimes.com



By SAM ROBERTS

Kirsten Luce for The New York Times The after-school scene at the Corona branch of the Queens Library, where parents bring children to receive help on their homework.


To see how New York City’s library systems stack up next to other big cities’ libraries in terms of government support, you might want to check the cookbook shelves under “chopped liver.”

In Columbus, Ohio, the libraries are open an average of 29 more hours a week. San Francisco’s receive up to three times as much per capita from the local government.
Meanwhile, New York’s three public library systems — workhorses all — are trying to do more with less: the city’s contribution to their operating budgets has declined by more than 7 percent, adjusted for inflation, over the past decade, even as circulation and program attendance have increased.

That’s the conclusion of an analysis of New York’s libraries and a comparison with 21 other major American library systems, plus Toronto’s, published Tuesday morning by the Center for an Urban Future. Read more...
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