Library Leaders Face Tough Choices

America’s libraries are being forced to redefine and advocate for their continuing value in society, and library hours are being cut when library use is at an all time high.

At ALA Mid-Winter in San Diego, Roberta Stevens, President of the American Library Association, talks about the organization’s plans to address challenges and identify solutions.

When asked how libraries are faring around the country, she answered, “The good news is that there is no longer any question about why do we have libraries, why do we need them.” On the other hand, she said, “Just like other parts of the country, libraries are being affected by cuts in funding.”

Stevens said libraries are doing more with less already. “I think at some point you can reach the juncture where you can’t do any more than you’re doing. What libraries have been doing is what you have seen in San Diego, cuts in hours to accommodate the lower budget. But the problem is every time you cut hours, you’re shutting out thousands and thousands of people.”