No More Shushing
But is all of this getting kids to read more? McCann says book circulation numbers for young adults have doubled at the new library. McCann says adult users also are way up, noticeably in the expanded computer area, so it's hard to say whether the increase is because of the new building or the new programming. More community groups are using the library's new meeting spaces.
Gretchen Couraud, executive director of the Michigan Library Association, says it's not surprising that libraries are looking more like community centers.
"People of all ages and all walks of life are coming back to the library, because this is where they grew up and this is where they feel comfortable," she says. Senior citizens and displaced workers are learning to go online for the first time at libraries, she says. Courad thinks library resources have never been more vital than in the current economy. She says libraries are frequently the only place residents can go for free access to the Internet to apply for jobs online and file for unemployment.
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