Public libraries are a major hub through which Americans gain access to e-books and other digital resources, but these institutions’ role in the digital transition hasn’t been made easy by the nation’s recent economic troubles.
On April 9, the American Library Association released its annual State of America’s Libraries Report, and many of its findings were grim. “Public libraries continue to be battered by a national economy whose recovery from the Great Recession is proving to be sluggish at best,” the report concluded. Twenty-three of the 49 chief officers of state libraries surveyed indicated that their library systems faced budget cuts over the past two years. According to the report, “For three years in a row, more than 40 percent of participating states have reported decreased public library funding.”
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