Monday, April 13, 2009

FCLS--Responding to the Economic Downturn

During this tough economic time, residents are turning to their local library for assistance. Our libraries are busier than ever these days. In March alone, Flathead County Library staff checked out 54,515 items to our users. This represents a nearly 23% increase in business over March 2007. People are borrowing, not buying, books and DVDs. Libraries have always been "green" in this respect--recylcing books and other materials by allowing them to be used over and over again.

Traffic is up in all of our facilities also. Last month alone, over 40,000 people visited our Main Library and Branches; and to date (July '08 to March '09) we've had 273,299 people walk through our doors! Our Bigfork Branch has the highest percentage increase at 21% over last fiscal year.

Flathead County citizens are using their libraries to access the Internet using either library computers or their own laptops on the libraries' wireless networks. People are looking for jobs, completing job applications and resumes, and taking our free computer classes to help them better navigate the tough job market. And well trained staff are always available to help!

Storytime visits are also up across the board. Flathead County Libraries offer 5 storyhours each week to pre-schoolers from every corner of the valley. Our storytimes include early literacy skill development so that children will be prepared to read once they reach kindergarden and first grade.

Has the library been a help to you lately? If so we'd love to hear your story. Send an email to and let us know how the library has helped you.

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