Bookstore's Loss Is Library's Gain

Interest in financial books rises in faltering economy

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images / Justin Sullivan
    The Chicago Public Libary collected $1.2 million in fees and fines last year.

     It seems that more Chicagoans are heading to the library to get their book and media fix, and many are turning to books to help them navigate the financial crisis.

    According to Reuters, Barnes & Noble Inc, cut its full-year sales forecast last Thursday, blaming a troubled U.S. economy and sending the shares of the largest U.S. specialty bookseller down more than 3 percent.

    However, circulation of library materials during the first nine months of this year is up 28 percent over the same period a year ago as Chicagoans look to cut expenses, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Still, the library is laying off five employees, cutting 166 vacant, full-time jobs and 177 part-time positions.

    Borders Group Inc, the second largest U.S. bookseller, and Amazon, the world's largest Web retailer, both said they had seen a recent trend toward finance books, from biographies of key players to books about past financial crises, CNBC reported.

    Moving into another arena, WBBM radio reported Tuesday that the Chicago Public Library system has begun making movie and video downloads available to patrons.  .

    But library cardholders beware: library fines are increasing. Left unpaid, it can sometimes get you into big trouble.