“Nationally, as in Idaho, use of public libraries is growing,” Idaho State Librarian Ann Joslin told the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee this morning.
Idaho’s 146 public libraries were visited almost 8.6 million times in 2016, Joslin said, and total program attendance has increased 30 percent since 2012. Plus, the state Commission for Libraries’ emphasis on early literacy programs, including its “Read to Me” and summer reading programs, helped push Idaho to third in the nation last year for per-capita checkout of children’s materials from libraries, and 6th nationwide for children’s program attendance in libraries.
Last summer, more than 100,000 Idaho youth participated in local summer reading programs at their libraries, Joslin said, “a 5.6 percent increase over 2016’s record high numbers.”
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