Good news and bad news about libraries in Great Britain

March 18, 2023 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: journalism.

There is good news about libraries from Great Britain. There is also some bad news.

And the good news is that during the last year or so when statistics are available, the in person use of libraries in that nation has risen by a whopping 68 percent. The time measured for this statistic was mostly during the pandemic. (This information comes from this article in The Guardian.)

The bad news is that during the same period, spending on libraries fell about 17%.

As librarians and others often point out, the public library is one of the few places that people can go where they are not expected to have business or to spend money. The library is the community’s resource. It is there to give and to give freely.

But, of course, libraries are not free. It takes money to stock the shelves, to pay the staffs, and to provide many other services that they render. Most of that money comes from the publics coffers.

We should not depend on books sale or overdue fines to support our libraries. We should all be strong advocates for increased public spending on one of the most precious gifts in our community.

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