Thursday, May 6, 2010

How Libraries Stack Up

In the United States, we go to libraries to find jobs, create new careers and help grow our small businesses. We borrow books, magazines, music, and movies. We learn to use the latest technology. We get tools and information needed to reenter the workforce. We get our questions answered, engage in civic activities, meet with friends and co-workers, and improve our skills at one of the 16,600 U.S. public libraries. Every day our public libraries deliver millions of dollars in resources and support that meet the critical needs of our communities.

Here are a few ways that our public libraries stack up:

Every day 300,000 Americans get job seeking help at their public library.

Most public libraries provide free wireless Internet access for their users. Nearly 12,000 now offer free Wi-Fi. That's more than Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, or Borders.

2.8 million times every month business owners and employees use resources at public libraries to support their small businesses.

Library cards are about as prevalent as credit cards. Two-thirds of American's have a library card. For many young people, the first card in their wallet is a library card.

More libraries - 5,400 - offer technology training classes than there are computer training businesses in the U.S. Every day, 14,700 people attend free library computer classes, a retail value of $2.2 million. That's $629 million worth of computer classes annually (based on 286 business days per year).

Every day, Americans borrow 2.1 million DVDs from libraries, and we spend over $22 million for DVD rentals at outlets like Netflix and RedBox vending machines.

Americans turn to libraries when searching for new jobs. Both public libraries and One Stop Career Centers provide career counseling resources, resume assistance, and help in filling out online applications.

More public libraries offer free meeting rooms than there are conference centers, convention facilities, and auditoriums combined.

Every year, Americans visit the library more often then we go to the movies and six times more often than we attend live sporting events (includes professional and NACA football, baseball, basketball, and hockey).

U.S. public libraries circulate as many materials every day as FedEx ships packages worldwide.

Libraries are at the heart of our communities, a resource for people of any age to find what we need to help improve our quality of life.

Save some money - visit your Library!

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