Get Through Tough Times @ Your library By Christine Ayar

All this talk of recession and economic downturn is a bit scary isn’t it? As a librarian, I look at what is occurring and begin to wonder how it will affect our budgets in coming years. But I couldn’t help but think of all the ways libraries can help their communities and actually increase patronage during tough times through the “free” services we offer.

In some ways, this brief list oversimplifies all the things we can offer, but that is kind of the point…to provide a reminder of the basic but important services libraries offer at little or no cost.

So, without further adieu, here are nine ways libraries can help you get through our country’s economic slowdown:

  1. Try it before you buy it. Money is tight. Don’t buy a CD, DVD, or book without “test-driving” it first. Come to the library and borrow it to see if it’s a purchase that is right for you. If we don’t have it, we’ll try our hardest to get it for you.
  2. Two words: FREE INTERNET.
  3. Bolster your business. We have access to databases and research tools that will help you reach new and different markets, even during tough times.
  4. Get the skills you need. Libraries offer classes on a variety of topics. Pick up your library newsletter or visit their website. You’ll quickly find you can learn new things ranging from basic computer skills to knitting to how to start a business.
  5. Find entertainment. Libraries offer classes, events and activities for children and adults, almost always at no cost. A fun night out doesn’t need to be an expensive night out.
  6. Hold meetings that get results. Libraries often offer low-cost or no-cost meeting spaces. Whether your a school group trying to develop a fundraiser or a CEO trying to launch a business, stop in to see if you can hold your meeting at the library.
  7. Be a well-informed investor. The library has up-to-date stock market information that will help you get through tough times. Make smarter investment decisions with the most current financial information.
  8. Find a new job, a better job, or a different job. Use computers, books, newspapers, and more to find a employment and build resumes and cover letters.
  9. Regain a sense of community. Feeling a bit disconnected during tough times? Libraries are places where communities come together. Stop in and take a moment to take in the action… you’ll find it abuzz with information, people, and possibilities!

(Printed by permission from Christine Ayer who is currently library director at the Adam Cardinal Maida
Alumni Library in Orchard Lake, Michigan. This article was published in ilovelibraries.org in 2007.)

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