Check it out.
That's what users of public libraries are doing these days. In an effort to stay entertained and informed without breaking the family budget, people across the country increasingly are taking advantage of the best deal in town: everything — books, CDs, DVDs — is free.
"That's pretty typical," Stanislaus County Librarian Vanessa Czopek said. "When the economy goes in a slump, libraries see more usage."
The American Library Association says use nationwide was 10 percent higher in the past year than during the 2001 economic downturn, when it tracked a similar spike in visits and circulation. Libraries recorded 1.3 billion visits and patrons checked out more than 2 billion items from April 2007 to April 2008.
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