This probably not a big news bulletin to any of you, but it might be affecting the way people use the library and what sorts of things your community needs. According to the Census Bureau's Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates, poverty rates for people 18 and under rose in every county in the IFLS area since 2008.
Percent of Children Under 18 Living in Poverty:
Some changes are fairly drastic--nearly 10 percentage points in Rusk County, and more than five percentage points in Barron, Eau Claire, Polk and Price Counties. That adds up to a lot of kids.
Are you seeing more kids in your library as a result? Fewer, as families struggle with transportation or worry about fines? Are you finding ways to help kids through tough times? I'd love to hear about what you are up to.
Have you considered working with the Department of Public Instruction to provide a free lunch site during the summer at your library? Informational webinars start this week to find out more.