Library Usage, Funding Increase

By: Gary Smollen Email
By: Gary Smollen Email

The Omaha Public Library will be buying $850,000 worth of books in the coming year.

Library usage and funding have increased but it may not seem like it.

Isaiah is in his element. Scooting from bookshelf to bookshelf in the children's section of the Millard Library Branch he will end up with about eight books, many of them read to him in the library.

Carol Russell says, "He even asked to come today. We had just finished lunch and he asked, 'can we go to the library?' so yes, we do."

From Carol Russell on down, the entire family makes good use of the library system with Isaiah and his brother and sister the latest links.

Soon they'll have more books to choose from.

The library's collections budget has increased from $1.6M last year to $1.8M for 2013; $850,000 of that earmarked for books.

But the more than three-quarters of a million dollars doesn't go as far this year.

Gary Wasdin says, "Our printed book collection will increase this year by about 8% which is good. It's nice to have an increase that essentially nets about the same number of books we can buy given inflationary costs."

Isaiah only cares that there are ‘Arthur’ books he has yet to memorize but Carol would like to see libraries higher on the list of priorities.

Carol Russell says, "They get read to every night and his older brother now reads books to him. It's just something that a family can share."

An increasing part of the library budget is e-books. Wasdin tells Channel 6 News it seems like every Christmas everyone receives an e-reader and comes to the library to check out a book.

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