The state of America’s libraries is not what it used to be. Yes, they are still standing, and yes, people do use them now and then. But the reality is that most libraries in America have fallen into a sad state of disrepair over time.
This blog post discusses the history of public library systems in America, as well as current trends in library usage and funding for these institutions across the country. America was a pioneer in the public library system.
The first free public library opened its doors to the city of Boston on February 16, 1854. That’s more than 150 years ago! Since then, libraries have been an integral part of American society. From providing books for children and teenagers to acting as places where people can read newspapers and magazines without having to pay any money, libraries are truly one-of-a-kind institutions that enrich our lives while also being essential parts of America’s civic infrastructure and culture at large.
Sadly, this is no longer true today: One study found that less than half (48%) of Americans had visited their local library in person during 2017; over 40% say they only go there “