While so many libraries in the US and Canada are under pressure to do just as much with little or no funding, it seems that publishers are taking advantage of the shortages. It was just announced that in some US cities, publishers will offer storytime to kids 3 – 7 …showcasing titles from their publishing house, of course. The draw is that the kids will hear a story, there will be raffles of five books at each session and all the kids will go home with a bookmark.
How can libraries compete with that??
While many library branches have been closed or reduced to limited services, the ones that are left struggle to keep programs going. Some ideas to offer incentive to people to keep using libraries (as opposed to buying books), have been to offer a pay-per-use fee so that patrons can keep books a little longer, or slashing hours of operation to at least be able to continue on with programs people want.
We’ve been lucky to be able to offer great programs at our library and hope to continue to do so for some time.