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Public Library Survey Reveals Bandwidth Issues, Job-Search Importance

Most libraries in an American Library Association survey say they have inadequate Internet speeds and not enough workstations. American Library Association hide caption

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American Library Association

Just as some communities (namely Philadelphia) are staring down the barrel of a shutdown of their public libraries, a new report from the American Library Association reveals some interesting statistics about the state of technology and the nation's libraries. (You can find the entire 2008-2009 report here. It includes data from 6,111 library outlets which completed surveys.)

Among the most interesting findings:

  • More than 71 percent of library outlets said they're the only provider of free public computer and Internet access in their communities.
  • Job-seeking services rank as the most crucial service the library provides to its community at 66 percent of libraries, up from 44 percent in 2006-2007.
  • 59.6 percent of libraries say their connectivity speed is insufficient all or part of the time to serve its patrons.
  • 81 percent of libraries say they have insufficient availability of workstations some or all of the time.