Tighter economic times may bring more visits to the library

With prices rising and budgets tightening, renting DVDs or buying a hardcover book are becoming luxuries for some families.

That's why more and more people are looking to their local libraries, where they can borrow those things for free, according to the American Library Association.

Locally, when it comes to borrowing materials, it's tough to tell if the increase at local libraries is due to the economy or to population growth. But, Wlodek Zaryczny, Beaufort County library director, said there is a long-standing tradition of increased library use during tough times.

"This is a typical situation. (People) have less money in their pockets," and less

money always makes the libraries' free resources look more attractive, he said.

At the Bluffton library, there has been a sharp increase in membership and member activity in recent years, but branch manager Ann Rosen said that's probably due to population growth in greater Bluffton.

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