People of the Book: Over 1 Million Israelis Have Library Cards

May 26, 2014

Source: Israel Hayom


The number of visitors to Israel's public libraries increased in 2013, according to a survey conducted by the Culture and Sport Ministry in some 40 public libraries as part of Reading and Literature Month. The survey also showed that over 1 million people in Israel have active public library memberships (which are not always free), and that, on Aug. 11, 2013, a million books were checked out.


Residents of Kiryat Arba and Efrat, in the Judean Mountain region, were the most active library users, with 72 percent and 69 percent respectively checking out books in 2013. Library use in smaller communities and outlying towns was higher than in big cities. Among Israel's largest cities, residents of Holon, south of Tel Aviv, were the most active library users, with 68 percent checking out books in 2013. The city with the next highest library use rate, Raanana, was far behind Holon, with 18 percent checking out books.


In response to the survey, Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat said it "showed the growing status of public libraries and their vital role in community life. Even in the age of the Internet and reality shows, we are getting more proof that the general public is still hungry for books and passionate about culture."


"The joy of reading still exists among a notable sector of the public, and it's an inseparable part of many people's daily routine," said Livnat.

Updated: Jun. 11, 2014