I was reading a post on Jen Robinson's Book Page that pointed me to an article about library use increasing as the economy falters. The article doesn't contain any surprises. It states that in the Boston area, librarians have noticed more residents making use of the library's services because they can't afford to go to the bookstore or video rental place any more.
I don't go to our local library in person (ABM does all the library runs), so I don't know if we are experiencing the lines that they are seeing Boston. I'm not sure how I would feel if I did. As a long-time library patron, I have experienced the effects of the repeated cuts to the library budget. I think I would be a bit miffed if the amount of time I have to wait for a book request is increased because a bunch of Johnny-come-latelys have decided that the library is a valuable resource after all.
On the other hand, this could be a profitable development. If residents are able to rely on this library for school work and cheap entertainment during this rough time, then maybe they will be willing to throw more tax money into the library's budget next time around. I sure hope so.