Don't write off public libraries just yet

Thursday, January 30, 2020

In this age of video streaming, podcasts, e-readers and a smart phone in every pocket, is there anything more quaint than the idea of sitting down and reading an old-fashioned printed book?

Don’t feel sorry for libraries just yet.

When it comes to popularity, they’re leading live music, movies, theater, national or historic parks, museums, casinos and zoos, according to the Gallup organization.

The average American went to a library 10.5 times last year, compared to 5.3 times to a movie and less than one visit to a zoo.

Looking for a good place to meet women? Try the library, where women visit nearly twice as often as men, 13.4 to 7.5.

Younger people, 18-29, are the most likely to visit a public library, 15.5 visits per year, followed by 30-49-year-olds, 12.3 visits, and 65+, 8.2 visits per year.

“Despite the proliferation of digital-based activities over the past two decades -- including digital books, podcasts, streaming entertainment services and advanced gaming -- libraries have endured as a place Americans visit nearly monthly on average,” Gallup reported.

“Whether because they offer services like free Wi-Fi, movie rentals, or activities for children, libraries are most utilized by young adults, women and residents of low-income households.”

The McCook Public Library is a busy place year-round, with reading programs and activities for children, busy computer terminals and traditional and electronic media available free of cost.

Recent remodeling upgrades, including an elevator, are ensure the facility’s usefulness far into the future.

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