News 12 @ 6 o'clock, September 2, 2008
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.---With the economy the way it is, no one wants to pay with their debit card...they'd rather check out with a library card.
Steve Moore spends his spare time skimming the stacks looking for a good read at the library. But books aren't the only thing he looks for, now its DVDs.
"Go to a library and get it for free. If you like it, you can find it and buy it later on," said Steve.
DVD checkouts in Richmond County increased forty percent from last year and local libraries aren't only seeing a boost in DVD checkouts but registrations too.
We're constantly calling headquarters for more registration cards and everybody's always asking the same question, where are all there people coming from? They can't all live here, but most of them do, " said Barbara Walker, manager at Nancy Carson Library in North Augusta.
But not all libraries are seeing an increase in people coming in looking to check out for free.
Columbia County library director Christina Rice tells News 12 her branch has seen less people than usual coming in to check out. She says she thinks the high gas prices are keeping people away. But Richmond County isn't feeling that pinch, they've seen a boost in computer usage too.
"This past year we've gone up in computer usage. When we opened this morning at nine o'clock, we had about a dozen people waiting to get in," said Gary Swint, director of Richmond County Public Libraries.
And for Steve Moore -- being able to get it for free is worth the wait.
"Its a hundred percent cheaper because it doesn't cost anything," said Steve.
A cheaper option that more people are checking out, literally.
The Nancy Carson Library in North Augusta has been so busy, they recently ran out of cards after giving out more than a hundred in just two weeks. Other libraries across Georgia have also seen increases anywhere from eight to thirty-eight percent since last year.