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.
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.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.