Record books from the 1940’s sit stacked atop bookshelves in the Dougherty County Central Library’s Genealogy Department. The department, along with the rest of the downtown library, is set to receive a $5 million makeover should a sales tax referendum pass in November.
Many people can't afford to spend money on luxury items these days. They're forced to spend their cash on food and rent instead of books, DVDs, and magazines.
And that's why many Wisconsin residents are turning to their local library for entertainment.
If you never visit your local library, it's time to jump on the bandwagon and catch up with your neighbors. That's because 6 out of every 10 Wisconsin residents are now registered library users.
According to the Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin has one of the best-organized library systems in the country. And most people are taking advantage of it.
Many are forgoing expensive bookstores, and instead are hitting up libraries for free access to their favorite stories.
Marathon City's old library was so popular, they had to move to a brand new building to keep up with customer demand.
"The old building we had was very small in footage," says branch supervisor Lavone Runge. "It was not customer friendly. We couldn't increase our materials because we just didn't have the shelving space."
Another perk of libraries is free Internet access. Most have dozens of computers available to any library card holder.
DVDs are a popular attraction too.
Wisconsin libraries have seen a dramatic increase in users this year. In fact, during an average week in 2009 libraries hosted more visitors than the number of people who went to a Packer's game all season long.
So I guess we can say libraries are becoming as popular as the Green Bay Packers.