A few years ago, public libraries were being written off as goners. The Internet had made them irrelevant, the argument went. But libraries across the country are reporting jumps in attendance of as much as 65% over the past year, as newly unemployed people flock to branches to fill out résumés and scan ads for job listings.
Other recession-weary patrons are turning to libraries for cheap entertainment -- killing time with the free computers, video rentals and, of course, books.
Free internet. Free/cheap DVD borrowing. Free book borrowing. Free help from librarians who really want to help. What's not to love?