Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Can Libraries Overcome The Pandemic Setback?


When the pandemic hit in 2020, America absorbed many casualties and losses, from mass deaths and hospitalizations to sufferings on other levels, including educational, social, and financial ones. One area hard hit by the plague and building closures were libraries. 

According to a recent survey by Institute of Museum and Library Services that examined the state of 17,454 public libraries, 2020 saw huge deficits from 2019, including: 

* 41.6% drop in the number of visits to libraries.

* 37.4% decrease in the number of people participating in library programming

* 25% decline in the number of units borrowed (print books, ebooks, audiobooks, other content) 

No statistics were available for 2021 or 2022, but one assumes and hopes there was a bounce back to normalcy.  

Are things back to pre-pandemic levels? The level of library participation by Americans had declined 10 straight years prior to 2020’s drop off a cliff, so it is not like things were so great prior to the displacement presented by Covid-19.  

Still, there is hope. There are over 174 million people in the country who are registered at a local library and have library cards. That's nearly 54 percent of the population. Many people use their card to take out books for friends and family members who don’t own a card. 

Libraries serve the community in countless ways, including: 

* Educating the public for FREE: printed books, films, audiobooks, periodicals, music, ebooks, databases

* Providing job search services

* Being hubs to get voter registration forms

* Having speakers and authors talk

* Housing historic records

* Providing discounts or free passes for access to local cultural venues such as museums

* Advocating for literacy, free speech, and learning equity

* Being a safe place to gather for children, seniors, and book clubs 

Let’s hope more people take advantage of the invaluable resources provided by public libraries across the nation. 

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Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at brianfeinblum@gmail.com  He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has over 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres. Let him be your advocate, teacher, and motivator!


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.3 million pageviews. With 4,400+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by www.WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult: www.linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum.  



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