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Thursday, 18th April 2013

The State of America's Libraries 2013

Source: American Libraries Association

From Executive Summary:

After an economic recession that has left about 12 million Americans unemployed and millions more underemployed, libraries continue to play a transformative role in their communities.

The more than 16,000 public libraries nationwide “offer a lifeline to people trying to adapt to challenging economic circumstances by providing technology training and online resources for employment, access to government resources, continuing education, retooling for new careers, and starting a small business,” Maureen Sullivan, president of the American Library Association, said in an open letter published July 10, 2012.

Three-fourths of public libraries offer software and other resources to help patrons create résumés and find employment materials, and library staff help patrons complete online job applications, Sullivan wrote, responding to a June 8 post about the value of a library and information science master’s degree on the Forbes website.
“More than ever, libraries are community hubs, and it is the librarian who works to maintain a safe harbor for teens, a point of contact for the elderly, and a place to nurture lifelong learning for all.”

The economic and social challenges that libraries and their patrons face are aggravated by the automatic federal budget cuts known as sequestration that went into effect on March 1, 2013, after Congress and the White House were unable to reach an agreement on tax reform and deficit reduction.

+ Direct link to Report (PDF; 10.8 MB)

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

Adrian can be reached at adrian.janes@freepint.com

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