By JON GASKELL
Capital News Service
LANSING — Pam Christensen has heard about the demise of libraries for years. The 26-year director of the Peter White Public Library in Marquette said such reports were always greatly exaggerated. “I remember a conference decades ago when the talk was, ‘Oh, computers will be the end of libraries,” said Christensen. “We’re actually doing better now than then.”
Marquette’s public library, like hundreds across the state, has seen an increase in the number of visitors and the amount of material circulated. Despite funding cuts and technology advances that threatened their existence, libraries remain indispensable to many communities. According to the Michigan Library Association, library visits increased from 52 to 57 million between 2009 and 2010.