Economic signals found in the library - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Economic signals found in the library

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March 31, 2003

Albany-- There are all sorts of economic indicators out there giving some insight into whether the ecnomony is moving up or heading south. But, there's one tried and true indicator that won't be mentioned on CNBC, or in the Wall Street Journal. And, it's just as reliable as the number-crunchers.

These children are returing books to the Dougherty County Library by the boxful.

"We come every three weeks to select books."

Ethel Bonner points her students in the right direction--and as the owner of a growing day care center, picking up free reading materials is the right buisness decision.  Bonner says, "Economically, we would be quite limited in the number of books we can purchase, and because the kids have such a variety of interests we want to meet those needs."

The Dougherty County Library System is meeting the needs of more and more people--circulation is up 25 percent this fiscal year. And there is a reason for that.

Library Director Mike Dugan says, "I think you can look through every down turn in the economy for the last 25 years, and when things get tight people use the public library more."

In fact, the public library was used most during the Great Depression--and with the struggles of our present-day economy, you can bet this check-out trend will continue.

The Dougherty County Public Library has 325-thousand books and other items, like DVD's and books on tape, in its five libraries. You can check these items out for free, all you need to do is sign up for a PINE card at any library.

Posted at 3:10 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com