From the article: Libraries at the Heart of Our Communities by Wayne Senville
“There’s been a dramatic change in the mission of libraries across the country. No longer just static repositories of books and reference materials, libraries are increasingly serving as the hub of their communities, providing a broad range of services and activities. They are also becoming important "economic engines" of downtowns and neighborhood districts."
“To put library visits in perspective, consider that in 2007 the attendance at major league baseball games was 81 million and NFL football, 22 million – add in NCAA men’s and women’s basketball (43 million) and football (49 million) and the total is less than 15 percent the number of visits to public libraries.”