Library Use up during recession

The Library Research Service has just released a new report,“The Impact of the Recession on Public Library Use in Colorado.”

The study examines use of Colorado public libraries (measured by visits, circulation, program attendance and Internet computer use) both prior to and after the onset of the recent recession.

Visits, circulation and program attendance all increased during the recession (from 2007 to 2009) by at least 11 percent for libraries serving large communities (populations of 25,000 or more). Higher use during this period was also seen in resort communities. Visits, circulation, program attendance and Internet computer use all increased by between 6 percent and 28 percent in public libraries serving these communities. Libraries serving small communities (populations under 25,000) were not included in the study because of missing and anomalous data.

Public libraries have been a key resource for Coloradans during both the recession and the post-recession recovery period, providing community gathering space, access to entertainment and educational resources, and information about job hunting, economizing and other topics that are particularly relevant during this time.

The complete report as well as a research brief (“Fast Facts”) are posted on the Library Research Service’s Web site at:

Samantha Hager
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