Region 8 Libraries Expect More Foot-Traffic, Recession Looms

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- Most kids will probably tell you, the reason they like coming to the Jonesboro Public Library .. the bugs, the books or the train.

Kelley Tracy says bringing her two young children to the library is an outing they all look forward to, both during the school year and the summer months.

"It's a great opportunity for her to come to the library and socialize with the other kids," said Tracy. "She loves the summer reading club."

For 33 years Phyllis Burkett has been working with public libraries.

She says whenever the economy slows, the amount of people walking through the library doors reaches a feverish pace.

She says the reason is simple. The extra 10 or 15 dollars it takes to fill up that tank of gas is about as much as a paperback would cost you at the bookstore.

"Some people will say they can go to the public library and check a book out for two weeks if it's brand new or four weeks if it's used and it doesn't cost them anything," said Burkett.

While it's still yet to be determined if the U.S. is in a recession, research from the last recession in 2001, shows that library circulation increased significantly since March 2001, when the National Bureau of Economic Research pegged the beginning of the latest recession.

For mom's like Tracy, making the choice to go to the library, is a no-brainer.

"We spread the word to a lot of our other friends and they're coming to the library now, so it's great."

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