PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Library use in Pascagoula is back in vogue during these tough economic times. Employees say they've seen more than a 20 percent increase in people visiting the facility this year.
Doris and Wallace Womble visit every two weeks.
"I use to buy them, but the library is a better deal," Doris Womble said.
Library patron Jeff Freeman is also picking out a new read.
"You can get the information you need, and you can bring it back, and it is free," Freeman said.
As the economy continues to put a lot of South Mississippians in a financial pinch, Public Relations Manager Rex Bridges believes more and more are turning to the library to hangout and get freebies.
"Free is always good. Since the first of the year, we have had increases of 22 percent in our annual door count," Bridges said.
Bridges said he welcomes the increase because the library has so many valuable programs and services to offer patrons.
"We have seen our multi-media pick up. Our DVDs and movies, people are checking them out from the public library rather than going and buying them or even renting them."
The biggest hit is the public computer area. Bridges said there's always a steady flow of people surfing the web.
"Often times, in the busiest times of the day, we will have a waiting list for people using the public computers."
Luckily, Terrence Biltzo got a seat. He said he's using the Internet to search for a job.
"Just filling out applications, and checking out the different opportunities online," Biltzo said. "I think it is a good thing the library stays open for long periods of time, and it's just a learning opportunity here."
Bridges said more than 200 people in Pascagoula sign up for library cards monthly. The library is currently putting together a five year strategic plan to better serve its patrons.