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Friday, February 3, 2023
ArlingtonBook'em, Danno: Funding to augment library collection

Book’em, Danno: Funding to augment library collection

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As it works to woo back patrons who departed in the COVID era, the Arlington County library system plans to make use of new budget funds to augment its collections.

As part of the fiscal 2023 budget recently adopted by the County Board, the library system received $543,000 in one-time funding designed to “reduce wait times across the collections, re-engage the community after a two-year pandemic through creative programming, and invite more readers to explore the library’s titles and participate in its various services,” officials said.

“The additional funds will allow us to get more books into more hands, more quickly,” said Diane Kresh, the county government’s library director. “A well-stocked, diverse collection benefits the entire community.”

With the budget increase, the Library will add 12,000 titles to its circulation and “drastically” reduce wait times for popular e-books and e-audiobooks, officials said. There also will be an increase in Spanish-language materials.


“Our top priority is to ensure patrons have access to books and information in multiple formats,” said Kresh. “Patrons should be able to read and access information, when and how they want it.”

The library system shuttered in March 2020 at the onset of the pandemic, and was slower than many library systems across the region (and far slower than many across the nation) to reopen. During the fiscal 2023 budget discussion, Kresh told County Board members that the library’s core patrons had declined from 75,000 before the pandemic to 55,000 in more recent months.

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