Monday, September 27, 2010

State Superintendent Tony Evers

According to State Superintendent Tony Evers, Libraries are a bargain-especially in Wisconsin. Here is his editorial for Library Card Sign-up Month (September).

“If you never get to your local library, it’s time to catch up with your neighbors. Six out of every 10 Wisconsin residents are now registered library users, according to new data from the Department of Public Instruction. We’re fortunate to enjoy one of the best-organized library systems around, and this is just one sign of it. In honor of National Library Card Sign-up Month, let me tell you what you’re missing if you have yet to discover your local library: free access not only to the books, CDs, and video materials at your own library, but just about anywhere. Our interlibrary loan service is so effective, in fact, it’s used more per capita than any other state’s, according to federal information released this summer. And don’t forget free, wireless Internet access—virtually everyone in our state can access it at their library—not to mention services that address our current employment crisis, like resume and job-search training and on-line resources for locating available jobs. During an average week in 2009, Wisconsin libraries hosted more visitors than attended Green Bay Packers games all year. Over the entirety of last year, a Wisconsin resident visited a library more than 10 times as often as a Milwaukee Brewers fan went to Miller Park to see a game. Library services help people stay employed and connected, help children learn, and improve the quality of life for all Wisconsin residents. And yet, we don’t pay much for these resources, especially when compared to other states: we rank eighth for the amount of materials checked out to users, but only 21st for how much we pay for it, per capita. If you’re a library worker, thank you for bettering our lives in Wisconsin. If you’re one of those four in 10 who isn’t making regular use of your library, let me encourage you to join the majority of people who know the tremendous value of a little library card”.

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