Library use increases, computers and books in high demand - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Library use increases, computers and books in high demand

By Bonnie Shelton

WAUSAU (WAOW)--The economic downturn is driving more and more people into Marathon County libraries. From job searching on library computers to checking out books for leisure, demand is high and resources stretched.

Whether it's fiction or non-fiction, autobiography or prose, everyone enjoys a good book. Vicki LeFave has been visiting the Wausau branch of the Marathon County Library for 25 years. "I'm probably here two or three times a month. Checking out six, seven, eight books at a time."

Customer Service Manager Mike Hartkopf said the number of people visiting the library rose six percent over the past year, but increased use doesn't mean an increase in budget.

"Unfortunately when our needs go up, our budget doesn't go up with that. We have to make due with our current resources and really make good decisions on what materials to buy for our customers," said Hartkopf.

LaFave says that doesn't mean there are less page turners to choose from, just less parking space. She says the resources provided by the library are invaluable. "Right now I'm not working I wouldn't be able to afford to buy books."

Despite in-demand resources and a huge jump in computer use, library staff said they are committed to provided important learning tools to community members.

Online Reporter: Bonnie Shelton

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