Monday, April 6, 2009


(Jefferson County, Alabama) – National Library week is celebrating 50 years, as our public libraries countywide celebrate 30 years of cooperation. Due to the  current recession, libraries have been in the national and local news more than ever.

Since August, more than 400 articles on the surge in library use have been published nationwide in magazines, newspapers, and on web sites.

CBS Nightly News, Feb. 2009 reported: “Libraries are becoming the ‘hot spot’ for just about everyone.”

“HOT” library uses right now include assistance with job searches, filling out online job applications, and creating email accounts for perspective employees.  A recent Birmingham News (March 29, 2009) article told the story of a woman who was laid off and had to discontinue her internet connection so she visits her local library daily to perform job searches.

Katie Couric, Dec. 2008, reported that: “Americans are saving money, and keeping the looming recession at bay, by going to their local libraries to rent books, CDs, and DVD’s.”, Feb. 2, 2009: “Business Brisk at Area Libraries: In bad times, free resources are a hot commodity.”

Jefferson County libraries have become hot spots also.
In 2008 …………
  • Over one half of Jefferson County residents had a library card
  • Jefferson County residents checked out over 5 million items
  • The 39 libraries of Jefferson County owned nearly 2 million items 
  • The staff countywide answered over 1 million reference questions 
  • Nearly 4 million residents used Jefferson County library databases remotely 
  • Nearly 4.5 million people visited the 39 public libraries in Jefferson County 
  • Jefferson County libraries had 599 public PCs countywide that last year had nearly 400,000 users and made 1.6 million internet searches 
Thanks to our funding partners - - The cities of Jefferson County that fund their local libraries; the Jefferson County Commission; and funding from the Alabama State Legislature - - residents of Jefferson County have world-class library service to help them weather this economic storm.

Your local public library is a tremendous public resource.  Public libraries continue to be the best bargain in town. Visit any of the 39 public libraries in Jefferson County and rediscover your local library!

Pat Ryan
Jefferson County Library Cooperative

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