Libraries in Crisis: Huffington Post blog
“On the other hand, the struggling economy has fueled renewed interest and use in library services, with Americans capitalizing on free access to books, magazines, e-books, DVDs, the Internet and professional assistance. And public libraries are also serving as a lifeline for people trying to adapt to challenging economic circumstances, providing technology training and online resources for employment, access to government resources, continuing education, retooling for new careers and starting a small business.
Libraries not only benefit their users individually. They also act as community hubs, bringing people together and connecting them to worlds beyond their communities. Libraries offer more than just books; they are community centers where everyone has access to programs and services that fuel lifelong learning.
In nearly all communities, it is not unusual to see patrons lining up outside of library branches, waiting for their doors to open. Public libraries serve as a lifeline for those who need access to technologies such as computers and wireless environments. Libraries offer more than just access; they are staffed with trained professional librarians who assist library patrons in finding what they seek among the myriad of “hits” that Internet search engines generate.”