January 25, 2021

Rural Libraries Face Dwindling Revenue, Increased Demand

From the The Joplin (MO) Globe:

Across the country, small-town and rural public libraries face financial struggles including flat or decreasing revenue, increasing costs and rising demand for services such as Internet access. Some libraries are responding by cutting hours and services or getting by with smaller staffs. The library in Seneca [Missouri], a branch of the Neosho-Newton County Library, is now slated for closure. In fact, it was supposed to close on Nov. 1, but a petition drive from residents prompted the library board to agree to keep it open through June to look at funding options.

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Andrea Berstler, president of the Association of Rural and Small Libraries, said small libraries have been making do with limited resources for years, and noted that in more isolated rural locations, they may be the only source of books and other entertainment or Internet access. The latter has become increasingly important as a tool to help people find work.

“They are the only game in town in a lot of locations,” Berstler said.

Read the Complete Article

See Also: Small Library Conference Getting Bigger (by Meredith Schwartz, Library Journal; October 1, 2012)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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