Library District Seeing Increased Computer Use

Stacy Yates, Amarillo Public Library
Stacy Yates, Amarillo Public Library
Donna Littlejohn, Director of Library Services
Donna Littlejohn, Director of Library Services

The Amarillo Library District is seeing a trend continuing to rise.

Public computer usage is skyrocketing, and some of it is linked to the struggling economy.

It's estimated more than 120 thousand people come to the library just to use computers.

But the libraries are seeing an increase since the economy has taken a downturn.

"Our computers are as busy as they've ever been," said Stacy Yates with the Amarillo Public Library.

This year the Amarillo Library District has seen an 11 percent increase in use.

In past years, a three percent jump was considered a successful year.

And the trend employees are seeing is people coming in to use the computers.

"All of our computer are in use most of the time especially in the early afternoon and into the evening," said Donna Littlejohn, the Director of Library Services.

And people are using the computers for a variety of reasons.

"People come here to use the computers for updating their MySpace and Facebook page but also to look for jobs," said Yates.

"Basic computer use is a part of life now, whether it's applying for a job or looking at medical information. That basic use is part of every body's life," said Littlejohn.

And that basic part of life forces the library to spend more tax dollars on more computers.

"Every time we add computers we see our use go up. So we're staying pretty stable and the more computers we have the more use we see," said Littlejohn.

The library is considering adding on to this central branch with additional offices, and a computer lab here on the east side.

They're hoping to start this plan after the first of the year.