Pew Study Finds People Would Miss Libraries

Paul Gutierrez

OMAHA (KPTM) - A recent Pew survey has found nine out of every ten Americans would regret it if their local library ever shut down, while another six in ten believe a closure would be a major loss for their community.

"You know, I think it shows the way people value the physical library," said Gary Wasdin, the Executive Director for the public libraries in Omaha.

Wasdin told FOX 42 News Thursday there were about two million visits to a library in Omaha last year, which is right on par with Pew's determination that most Americans still care about the existence of public libraries. The report comes after a turbulent year for the Omaha Library Board, which saw threats of budget cuts and the possibilities of closures in 2013.

"It's always a challenge," said Wasdin. "There's always a finite amount of money."

We're told there are currently no plans to put any Omaha libraries on the chopping block, but that could always change because the evaluation process isn't over.