The Librarian By Day makes some good points today in her post “Library usage will go up during a recession – management are you really prepared?” which is excerpted here:
“I’ve seen many news articles and video lately about usage of libraries increasing during a recession. I’ve personally noticed my library seems busier. While many have celebrated the increase of use and the public attention we so rightly deserve, we also need to consider the down side. Our funding might be cut, the public is less likely to approve bonds or tax levies to increase services, in some cases staff may be laid off. Libraries are masters of doing more with less and we are really going to need that skill now.
The other side of recession is that it causes stress. Patrons are likely to be less happy about paying their fines and, in general, be a little more on edge. Staff are aware of the news and what is happening, even those who feel secure in their jobs, have family and friends who have been affected.
So why am I asking management if they are ready? All of this stress means an increase in irritable, angry, demanding, stressed out patrons who are rubbing up against your irritable, angry, tired, stressed out staff. See where I’m going with this?…”