The Community Library of Lake and Salem Townships has seen marked increases in usage in recent months due to the faltering economy, says library director Amy Alpaugh, and that’s not just book checkouts.


The Community Library of Lake and Salem Townships has seen marked increases in usage in recent months due to the faltering economy, says library director Amy Alpaugh, and that’s not just book checkouts.

“From September of 2008 to September of 2009,” Alpaugh reported to the Salem Township Supervisors October 13, “Computer use alone went up 49%. Many people are telling us that with the difficult economic times, they no longer have Internet access, and they’re making up for it by coming to the library.”

Alpaugh went on to explain that people weren’t just coming in for idle web surfing, but have been using an expanding array of career building resources available at the library, including software that makes creating a resume a breeze, Internet job search tools, and their newest feature, an interview stream via webcam that helps people hone their interviewing skills if they do get called in for one in this job market. She said all this activity has contributed to a 33% increase in general circulation over last year.

“There is so much going on for free at the library.” Alpaugh continued, “We have a very popular kids’ game day, book clubs, homework help and computer training that are all going great, and our movie checkout is up 23%. People are realizing that with the $5 cost of rent a movie, it makes sense to get one for free at the library.”

Alpaugh also stressed the availability of the library’s community room for all events. She said there is no official charge to rent the space, but the   library does ask for a donation.