HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut officials say library use statewide is rising, even as library budgets and staffs continue to shrink.

The Connecticut State Library says data submitted by local libraries shows the number of items borrowed in the 2009-2010 budget year was up 4 percent.

Five percent more people also attended library programs than in the previous year.

At the same time, officials say the number of full-time equivalent positions in public libraries is at its lowest level since 2000 and their operating income has dropped.

Overall, more than 23.3 million people visited Connecticut public libraries during the past year.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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