Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Millions of People Rely on Library Computers

A national study shows that 77 million people used library computers and Internet access in past year. Nearly one-third of Americans age 14 or older — roughly 77 million people — used a public library computer or wireless network to access the Internet in the past year, according to a national report released today. In 2009, as the nation struggled through a recession, people relied on library technology to find work, apply for college, secure government benefits, learn about critical medical treatments, and connect with their communities.

The report, Opportunity for All: How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries, is based on the first, large-scale study of who uses public computers and Internet access in public libraries, the ways library patrons use this free technology service, why they use it, and how it affects their lives. It was conducted by the University of Washington Information School and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Read the press release in its entirety or view the report at the IMLS website. Excerpt from IMLS press release.

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