CROWN POINT | The silver lining of an economic slump might be the steady increase in circulation over the last three years at the Crown Point Community Library.
That's the best guess as to the reason for the increase from Laura Clemons, communications specialist at the library system.
"With how the economy has been, and most everything in the library is free, more items are being checked out," Clemons said.
In the past seven years, circulation of the library's books, videos, audiobooks, magazines and other materials has fluctuated, but the last three years there has been a steady increase from 270,315 items in 2007, to 299,778 in 2008, to 306,527 in 2009.
Clemons said the library always appears full of patrons, which doesn't surprise her since the community is growing even if the library space isn't.
"There are always people on the computers," she said. "I really wish we had a computer room."
Clemons hopes a new building for the library will be built soon. Although there have been discussions about a variety of locations, nothing has been set in stone yet. Still, Clemons uses children's story time getting cramped as an example of how the increase in patrons has led to a lack of space.
If the economy has brought new library patrons, Clemons believes they'll stay. She thinks if the library gets people inside, they'll get hooked.
"Once they get in and they see ... I think they will keep coming back," she said. "I've always thought of the library as the (city's) hub."