public libraries in a tough economy

Times are tough everywhere these days, especially in libraries. Public services have been facing cuts on local, state, and national levels, and it has been a true challenge. This article does a thorough job of illumination the challenges that libraries in particular have had to face the past few years: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2012/01/funding/the-new-normal-annual-library-budgets-survey-2012/

Huntingdon Valley Library has a story that follows the example of some of the statistics that are illustrated in this article. However, this library has been fortunate too. There is a dedicated staff here who have really come through in tough times and kept the library running at a highly efficient pace. As the article mentions, this was made possible because many members of the staff here took on duties that were not originally theirs. In my brief time here, I have never once heard any member of the staff say “that’s not my job”. To maintain that attitude in times where so many libraries report major drops in morale is impressive and admirable.

The community support of the library is the other vital piece of the puzzle that keeps this library thriving though times are tough. The number of volunteers, Friends of the Library and members of the community who are willing to devote their time to serve on the Board of Trustees is impressive. Outside of that, there are those of you who use the library on a regular basis, to check out books and movies, attend library programs, and participate as a member of the library community. It is this locally driven support that keeps us thriving here in the library, and we hope to be here for many years to come!

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