THE current economic crisis does not always have negative effects. The use of libraries in the region has risen dramatically since the downturn.
In the municipal library of Denia, the number of users has soared to 86,223 last year, compared to five years earlier when the they had little more than 39,600 visits. That is more than a doubling of use over the past five years.
Undoubtedly one of the main factors of this 118 per cent rise in use is the increase in unemployed persons who are using libraries as information points to find work or prepare for interviews in a quiet place. So said the councillor for culture in Dénia, Pepa Font. Data from this year seems to follow the same path as up to now there have been more than 66,000 visitors.
It has now been suggested that the libraries opening hours be extended to cope with its increased popularity. Initially to extend the library hours during the tests, as it currently remains open from 9 to 21 hours, with a short break at lunchtime. Also being discussed is the possibility of expanding the service to open on Sundays.
The same increase in usage has been noted in Jesus Pobre and Marina Baixa libraries, where they recieved 18,189 visits in 2010, compared to 7,665 in 2005. In Jesus Pobre, the figure exceeds 2,500 compared to 1,307 in 2005.
In UK libraries for many years have been places to find warmth and escape the rain without having to pay. Here the reasons for use are more positive, and with the availability of DVDs and interactive products, expatriates can also make good use of local library facilities as sources of information.