Digital Challenges For U.S. Public Libraries

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On All Tech Considered this week, we discussed a new 2009-2010 study from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the American Library Association. It's not very different from a report we wrote about last year. Libraries continue to expand their digital services while facing budget cuts and shortened operating hours.

Some findings from the study, which surveyed public libraries:

  • 67 percent of libraries say they're the only provider of free public access computers and Internet in their communities.
  • 15 percent of libraries report reduced operating hours. More than 55 percent of urban libraries report funding cuts.
  • 89 percent of libraries provide technology training, including skills, software and job-seeking training.
  • 82 percent of libraries provide Wi-Fi access.

A "Key findings" summary of the report (in PDF form) is available here.




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