Here’s the good news: respondents to LJ’s annual materials survey of U.S. public libraries nationwide report that their materials budgets are up 3%, averaging $807,000 overall and ranging from $30,000 on average for libraries serving populations under 10,000 to $4,437,000 for libraries serving populations over 500,000. That’s the best budget showing since the $862,000 average in 2008 and a sign that libraries are catching up after the major economic downturn of 2007–08, though with prices now higher, budgets are still playing catch-up.
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