It’s no secret that I champion libraries. It’s also no secret that some pundits say that libraries are dying. So it is gratifying to come across the article Who Says Libraries are Going Extinct? in the Pacific Standard. While acknowledging funding difficulties, and the rise of digital media, the article professes that “the best-kept secret about America’s libraries is that they are wildly, deeply, and incontrovertibly popular. They are as actively used as ever, if not more.”
While this is good news for us, and supported by the State of America’s Libraries Report 2013 (ALA), and the Pew Internet Report How Americans Value Public Libraries in Their Communities, it doesn’t mean that we can sit back on our laurels because all is well. On the contrary, funding cuts are all too real, and libraries have not recovered from the hits they took during the “economic downturn.” Rather, we should use the data and stories from the article and the reports cited in it to advocate for increased local, state, and federal financial support (not just lip service) for our libraries.