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Budget cuts and myriad services: The changing role of libraries

Library use is blooming in the US – but not necessarily because of books. As a tough economy makes jobs scarce and amenities like Internet too pricey for some, the resources libraries offer becomes a blessing. DorobekINSIDER’s Chris Dorobek spoke with Larry Eichel, Project Director of the Philadelphia Research Initiative at The Pew Charitable Trusts about future of libraries.

Eichel noted how libraries are more like full-scale community centers now than just a place to rent books. They offer English as a second language courses, help searching for jobs, and free Internet. However, 14 out of 15 of the libraries studied by Eichel saw their government revenue declining in recent years, which is very challenging.

LIBRARIES CLIP 1 by cdorobek

The new role of libraries as full-fledged community centers offering myriad services is something that couldn’t have been foreseen 20 years ago, and is still changing. As residential Internet access becomes near universal, and e-books gain popularity, what will the role of the library be in the next 10 years?
LIBRARIES CLIP 2 by cdorobek

To Listen to Larry Eichel’s full interview you can catch the entire radio show at GovLoop Insights or you can subscribe to our iTunes channel.

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