Library Use Shows Dramatic Increase As Furlough Approaches

Dramatic increase in library use
Visits to libraries nearly doubles

Visits to Seattle’s libraries have nearly doubled in the past five years according to figures collected by the Seattle Public Library. Visits have jumped from under 7 million annually in 2004 to over 12 million in 2008.  Use continues to increase in 2009. Visits this year already exceed the number of visits in all of 2004. Year to date, as of July ’09, visits were up 8% over year to date figures in July 2008.

Community members notice the increase, “I see a lot of kids in there doing homework. It’s always busy,” said Broadview Community Council secretary, Janice Burnell.  Programs, like Homework Help, have also seen participation spike this year.  Circulation of library materials is also increasing at a dramatic rate – up 20% between 2007 and 2008 – the largest jump in materials requests in five years. In July of 2009 circulation was up another 12% over 2008.

On August 31, 2009, The Seattle Public Library will close for one week as a result of city budget shortages in  2oo9. The City of Seattle funds all operations, staffing, and materials costs for our libraries.  During that one week  staff will take an unpaid furlough and the entire City will be without Library service.

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Will you join us in our work to keep libraries open and fully funded? advocacy@friendsofspl.org

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