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More And More People Now Using Public Libraries

More and more people are counting on the public library these days as tough economic conditions are limiting entertainment options.

And computer use at libraries is at a high volume as job seekers use the World Wide Web to find positions.

News Channel 3 found a couple of libraries in the Valley bustling with people in action rather than the normal empty and quiet that these facilities are associate with.

“I got a lot of books here,” said Jerry Whitman, who is reverting back to libraries. “I used to but them. Now, I get them from the library. Same thing with DVD’s”

Whitman is referring to the video and audio choices that accompany the usual books and periodicals at the library.

“Our average circulation for 2007 was over 8,000 a month,” La Quinta librarian Beth Foley explained. “We have jumped up to well over 14,000 items a month.”

In Palm Springs, librarians are wondering if the tough times will mean budget cuts for libraries as well.

“There’s always the threat or the fear that funding will be taken away from libraries,” said Palm Springs librarian Barbara Roberts. “It’s almost a Catch-22 situation. As the use of libraries rises, sometimes the funding drops.”

The tough times also spell unemployment for some others. People are waiting for the library computers to look for jobs.

“Me and my son are looking for jobs,” said Mary McCrumb, who was waiting for a La Quinta Library computer this week. “It’s tax time and we do a lot of business in our local library.”

Another patron was looking for out-of-state jobs.

“Local truck driving in another state – I would stand more of a chance for a full time job,” said job seeker Juan Flores.

Nonetheless, the crowds at the library may not die down any time soon. Libraries just aren’t as quiet as they used to be.

KESQ News Team

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