In this report on the State of America’s Libraries in 2006, the American Library Association found that:
Public, school and university libraries are flourishing, both in traditional ways and in the still-exploding universe of the Internet.
Library use is up nationwide among all types of library users, continuing a decade-long trend.
Almost 1.8 billion visitors checked out more than 2 billion items last year at everything from one-room rural outposts to spectacular facilities such as Seattle’s new Central Library, which attracts thousands of patrons - and tourists - daily. Also of note:
● Investment in e-books at academic and research libraries rose an astonishing 68 percent from 2002 to 2004, the most recent year for which federal data are available
● Public libraries remain on the forefront in delivering new programmes to their customers while still providing the “nuts-and-bolts” services that people need to lead full lives - for example, the tools to conduct a job search, write a résumé or learn new work skills. Even with the rapid growth of all of these services, people are...