Libraries today are far more than places to borrow books for a couple of weeks according to Red Hook Public Library Director Erica Freudenberger and Mid-Hudson Library System Assistant Director Merribeth Advocate. Libraries are an important local source in obtaining jobs or improving skills, using the public-access computers in libraries or access to library information from home computers. And, while there is a lot of information on the Internet, not all of it is correct; libraries vet information and establish its relevance. Also, in addition to various audiovisual media that can be loaned, libraries today offer “free” access to e-books—although nothing from libraries is actually “free” as it is paid for by local, state, and national taxes—primarily local sources of funding. Studies have shown that every dollar invested in libraries produces seven dollars in the economy of the community.
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