Today’s public libraries are vital community technology hubs that millions of Americans rely on for their first and often only choice for Internet access. Despite increased demand for library computers, however, 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.
The Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study is a multi-year project that builds on the longest-running and largest study of Internet connectivity in public libraries. The study assesses public access to computers, the Internet and Internet-related services in U.S. public libraries, as well as the impact of library funding changes on connectivity, technology deployment and sustainability in FY2007-2009.
Built on the longest-running and largest study of Internet connectivity in public libraries, begun in 1994 by John Carlo Bertot and Charles R. McClure, this study provides information that can help library directors and library IT staff benchmark and advocate for technology resources in communities across the nation. The data are also of importance for policymakers at local, state, and federal levels, manufacturers of information and communication technologies, and the communities served.
The project is made possible by a generous donation from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the American Library Association.