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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Despite cuts, more Bronxites are using public libraries

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A report by the Center for an Urban Future found that the Bronx has had the largest increase in library usage of all the boroughs.

Over the past 10 years, there has been a 40-percent increase in the number of people who attend library programs. 

Though Bronx libraries have shown significant increase in users through the years, budget cuts have meant a decrease in the number of hours they are open to the public. Since 2008, operating funds provided for city libraries have been reduced by $68 million.

Libraries in New York are also open fewer hours than urban library systems in other cities. In Detroit, libraries are open 45 hours a week; in Chicago and Boston they are open 50 hours; in Columbus, Ohio they are open 72 hours a week; and in New York they are open an average of 43 hours a week. 

“If libraries are going to fulfill their potential as engines of upward mobility and take advantage of opportunities afforded by the Internet, they will need far greater financial and institutional support than they have received so far,” David Giles, research director for the Center for an Urban Future, wrote in the report.

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