It's National Library Week.
Sometimes I think we take our libraries for granted. They are one of the pillars of communities, providing all sorts of services beyond the lending of books (which is important in itself) such as Wi-Fi, computer access, movie and music rentals, lectures, classes, book clubs, and much more.
The American Library Association recently published some facts about libraries and here are a few that I thought were interesting:
- 58 percent of American adults have public-library cards.
- Americans visit libraries three times more often than they go to movies (and hey, they don't even sell popcorn in libraries!).
- Public and academic libraries hold more than 176 million e-books in their collections.
- Academic librarians serve more than 44 million patrons each year -- nearly 12 million more folks who attend college basketball games.
- The highest achieving students attend schools with well-funded library media centers.
- U.S. citizens spend 18 times more money on home video games than they do on school library materials for their children (why doesn't this surprise me?).
- There are more public libraries (16,766 including branches) than McDonald's in the U.S. (and libraries serve fat-free brain fare).
- And Americans spend almost three times as much on sweets than they do on public libraries (can't say that really surprises me either).