September 6, 2009: The public library

November 11, 2009 10:28:53 AM PST
We'll give the politicians a rest this week and report on perhaps the fastest-growing government institution throughout the country: the public library. Especially during these tough economic times, many people are flocking to libraries to save money and check out books and videos free instead of buying them. And they are going to libraries to use computers, often to look for jobs, send resumes, etc.

As one example of growing use of libraries, book circulation is up 30 percent in the Chicago Public Library system in just the part year.

Unfortunately, at the same time people are crowding into libraries, hard-strapped government units are cutting library funding, which is causing a budget crisis at many libraries. Our guests are Mary Dempsey, commissioner of the Chicago Public Library, and Cathleen Bourdon, associate executive director of the American Library Association. They will tell us what's happening in libraries, including many high-tech developments in library services.