509: Library Card

A Thousand Things to Talk About
509: Library Card

Do you have a library card? Do you use it?

Full episode script

Public libraries have long been a part of the fabric of cities, towns, and counties. In 1901, the New York Public Library issued its first library card, and that’s a tradition that continues at nearly every lending library out there.

In 2017 the Pew Research Center reported that, quote:

46% of adults ages 18 and older say they used a public library or bookmobile in the previous 12 months.

That same report also found that there are significant generational and demographic differences in the people who make up that 46%. Quote:

53% of Millennials (those ages 18 to 35 at the time) say they used a library or bookmobile in the previous 12 months. That compares with 45% of Gen Xers, 43% of Baby Boomers and 36% of those in the Silent Generation.

According to the American Library Association, when you combine the visits Americans make to academic, public, and school libraries — they visit these institutions three times as often as they go to movies. There’s also the fact that, quote:

There are more public libraries than Starbucks in the U.S.—a total of 17,566 including branches.

It is also worth noting that, since there are 30% of people who actively use libraries who still aren’t sure what all the services a library might offer are, there’s plenty more than the physical lending of books offered by many of these institutions. Libraries have since started offering e-book lending, internet access, business services, 3D printers, technology petting zoos, coworking spaces, and more. Heck, the Spokane Public Library even offers everything any aspiring podcaster might need to get their idea off the ground.

This script may vary from the actual episode transcript.