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Value of Libraries (Information Centers) in a Recession

June 22, 2009

Earlier this month, the Today Show had a story about the value of libraries in a recession, encompassing the usual themes of value, increased usage and users (68% of Americans now have library cards). 

While it’s certainly not news to us, there is a point that can be useful:  the library provides increased value because of pooled resources, helping meet information needs while saving money.  In this recession, where budgets are flat or cut across the organization, is the library seen as valuable by centralizing information (making them accessible) and allowing other departments’ budgets to go further? 

More importantly, is that message resonating with leadership?

(a note from the SLA Alignment Project:  From the information users surveyed, ‘making resources available in a timely manner’ and ‘saving time & money by effectively obtaining information’ were the #1 and #4 ranked role of Information Professionals)

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