Sunday, March 15, 2009

MLAs gone wild: baring necks and heckling?

Times Colonist: 2009 March 15

BOOK BOOM: It was just a couple of years ago that government tried to move the legislature’s stately old library and replace it with office space for MLAs. The resulting outcry closed the book on the plan and saved the space, which includes millions of documents, microfilmed newspapers going back 100 years and a reading room.

The library’s latest annual report, released last Monday, shows demand keeps rising for library services — when it’s not under threat of demise.

Complex research questions rose 36 per cent last year. Visits to the website jumped 200 per cent when Google started indexing the content and some products are now available by RSS feed.

But the vast collection of historical documents continued to drive demand. Good old-fashioned book borrowing increased by more than 50 per cent.

The library is open to the public when the legislature is not in session.