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Why libraries are an economic lifeline for millions of Americans

Ron Baron’s local library was a critical lifeline when he was unemployed.

The 20-year-old resident of Grand Junction, Colo., often found himself hanging out at the library when he was jobless. “It’s one of the only places I could go to without the expectation of spending money,” Baron said.

But the library was more than just a place to relax indoors. Baron also used resources at his library to apply for a job. And when he found out that the job he initially wanted was already filled, library staff helped connect him with a workforce center that helps unemployed individuals find jobs free of charge.

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