"Revenue-challenged local governments have cut back on contributions to library budgets - at a time when libraries are being asked to perform a new and changing range of functions."
"Our new report, "The Library in the City: Changing Demands and a Challenging Future," looks at the recent experiences of 15 big-city library systems across the country. From 2008 through 2010, when the recession took a big bite out of local government revenues, the libraries saw their government funding cut by an average of 10 percent. These cuts resulted in roughly proportional reductions in staff and hours. And yet, in 13 of the 15 systems studied, library use is higher today than it was six years ago in terms of visits, circulation or both--as this interactive graphic shows."