\"As California faces the biggest financial crisis in its history, public libraries across the state are scaling back hours, laying off staff and, in some cases, stopping book purchases.\"
\"At the same time, library use has accelerated in recent months as the economic downturn drags on. In hard times, librarians say, people turn to libraries to job-hunt, use the Internet, spend the day if they are unemployed, or borrow books, CDs and DVDs that they can no longer afford to buy at stores or online.\"
``We\'re confronting difficult choices right now,\'\' said Karen Rollin Duffy, the librarian at the Santa Clara City Library. ``At a time when we\'re asked to hold the line or make cuts, we actually really need to hire additional staff. Our circulation is increasing. Circulation in December 2002 was 20 percent higher than in December 2001. People are not spending as much money on going out, and they are using the library as a source of recreation.\'\' (from Mercury News)