Internet Use in Libraries
ALA Library Fact Sheet 26
The focus of this fact sheet is on how libraries assist with the ever-growing Internet access needs of their library patrons – especially those whose only Internet access is using the computers that libraries, especially public libraries, provide.
In some of Alaska’s communities, the library is the only internet access point available for most.
Here’s a quote from the fact sheet about some national level findings:
See the June 18, 2014 press release from federal agency, The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), IMLS Releases 2011 Public Libraries in the United States Report – Statistical analysis shows how investments affect library usage, in reference to the most current national statistics report on public libraries, Public Libraries in the United States Survey: Fiscal Year 2011 (2014):
For the first time, the agency used statistical modeling to examine the relationship between investments in public libraries and use of libraries and found that in most cases when investment increases, use increases, and when investment decreases, use decreases, and that these relationships persist over time.
The findings also indicate the ways in which library service is fundamentally changing. Reductions in physical visits to the library are associated with investments in e-materials such as e-books, which may be an indication that services are moving online, allowing people to perform library transactions such as checking availability of materials, checking them out and returning them online. And, an overall reduction in computer use could correspond with investments in wireless, which libraries have made so that customers can use their own devices. These changes signal the need for new data elements for the survey to allow a closer examination of electronic delivery of library collections and services.