Recession Drives Library Visits

By: Meredith Stancik Email
By: Meredith Stancik Email

An old tradition is making a comeback. More people are visiting the library to save money.

However, not all visitors are checking out books as you might expect. Did you know that you can rent movies, look for a job, even learn how to use a computer at no charge? And as the economy falls, library visits are soaring.

"I like it here because it's quiet," Bryan resident Virginia Hernandez said.

Virginia has been coming to the Bryan library for years, now she brings her grandkids.

"They like to check out cd's and books that they don't have at home. They like to read a lot," Hernandez said.

Virginia likes the library's old movies, because these rentals don't break the bank.

"I can't afford to check out a movie at a business, but I like to come here because it's free," Hernandez said. "I check it out and bring it back."

The library isn't technically free, your taxes pay for it. So, why not take advantage?

"There's something for everyone," City Librarian Clara Mounce said.

If you're looking for a job, you can search for one online.
You can even write your resume thanks to a program on each computer.

If you're looking for a temporary room upgrade, did you know you can actually check out portraits and sculptures at both B-CS libraries?

"Some people forget they got it on their wall," Mounce said.

Movies and music are hot commodities, along with books on tape. The written word still draws in visitors, but it's the library's newest offerings that are really bringing people in.

The Larry J. Ringer Library in College Station has seen a 164 percent increase in computer use in just six years.

Both B-CS libraries have seen DVD check outs increase. About 1,000 more movies have left the shelves this year, compared to last year.

Overall, 67,000 more people visited both libraries in 2008, compared to 2007, and the trend continues.

"It really makes the library a popular place," Mounce said.

You can also check out newly released magazines at both the Bryan and Larry J. Ringer library, that can save you about $30 a year. Buying a newly released book can set you back between $10 and $30. If you check one out at the library it's free. And don't forget getting a library card is free.

You can reach the Bryan Library at 209-5600 and the Larry J. Ringer Library at 764-3416.

Both libraries have summer reading programs for kids. This year's theme is "Libraries: Deep in the Heart of Texas." Kids can get involved through August 1st. The free program ends August 31. Participants also receive prizes depending on how many books they read this summer. To find out more about the library's summer reading program visit the library's website at

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