TALLAHASSEE, FL—A national report released today reveals that 99 percent of all U.S. public libraries provide free public access to computers wired to the Internet, compared to 25 percent 10 years ago. Librarians overwhelmingly (71 percent) report that the most important impact of this service is providing Internet access to those who otherwise would not have it. This is the first time that impact has been quantified on a national scale.
The report also reveals that despite increased demand for library computers, libraries typically have not seen a corresponding increase in budgets and many are challenged to provide enough computers or fast-enough connection speeds to meet demand.
From the site:
The national survey provides longitudinal data regarding public library Internet connectivity and public access computing services and resources, but also explores the impacts and benefits that communities derive from public library connectivity. The case sites focused primarily on successfully networked public libraries and the issues, solutions, and approaches that these libraries faced and resolved in order to develop sustainable and high quality public access computing and Internet services.