According to the Washington State Library, patronage is way up during our current hard times. In a study covering June to November of last year, the following increases were noted:
-- Attendance, up 7.5 percent
-- Book circulation, up 11.22 percent
--Web site visits, up 20.21 percent
-- Internet use of library computers, up 13.77 percentThis totally makes sense during the present terrible economy. I wonder if, anecdotally, our Rem Koolhaas-designed downtown library isn't filling up with laid-off WaMu, Microsoft, and Starbucks workers. Some might be looking for jobs or retraining. Some might be hunting for books to occupy the sudden free time of unemployment. And some, having defaulted on their mortgages, might be looking for a place to keep warm and use the bathroom.
There's a cheerful thought: The recession is helping our city's famously high literacy rates.