When Wallets are Lighter, Libraries are Havens

ELLSWORTH — They sit at the library computers to compose resumes and look for jobs, check out books that are too expensive to buy, movies that are too pricey to rent, and sit in on lectures, workshops, readings, and other events that are free.

It’s a recession and people are either being careful because they have to, or just find it the prudent way to be right now.

Libraries cater to those circumstances and that mindset.

“We had the busiest December we have ever had,” said Charlene “Charlie” Churchill, director of the Ellsworth Public Library.

In 2007, patrons checked out and renewed 173,000 books, movies, books on tape, and other library materials. In 2008, that number shot up to 193,000.

Churchill said she knows more people are using the library’s computers to look for jobs and to hunt for educational and job training opportunities because many have never used a computer before and ask for help.

Churchill said it’s important that residents have a haven in tough economic times.

At Friend Memorial Public Library in Brooklin, Director Stephanie Atwater, says this winter’s travel talk series, which featured local residents showing photos about their travels, drew record crowds looking for free entertainment.

Jessup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor, Witherle Memorial Library in Castine, and Blue Hill Public Library have also seen increases in use.

 For complete story, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.

Nicole Ouellette

Nicole Ouellette

When Nicole isn't giving advice she's completely unqualified to give, she runs an Internet marketing company in Bar Harbor, where she lives with her husband Derrick and their short dog Gidget. She loves young adult novels, cooking and talking French to anyone who'll talk back. [email protected]