Library Internet Access Better Than Ever

Steven M. Cohen snagged this gem off the AP wire:

"In a study released Thursday, the American Library Association said 99.6 percent of libraries are now connected to Internet, with all but a handful offering access to the public. That compares with 20.9 percent in 1994 when the study was first conducted."
Here's more from ALA.

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Internet R Us

The stats are interesting and even encouraging... and certainly there's nothing unexpected...about the disparity between urban and rural internet access and the challenge of upgrading..But overall this summary of the report reads like typical library administrator circulationstatistics bean counting...the numbers don't tell the part of the story we really want to know.BUT what I'd really like to read is an article about what happens after the internet access is provided...how specifically are librarians working directly with users to make sure they are finding what they seek on the internet?How specifically are librarians adding value to internet access by selecting and providing freeaccess to "fee" databases...how are librarians creating portals and websites to direct usersto the best information?And is the internet in libraries being used to make web based education available?It's not just making the internet available that's important...it's what WE do to make it easier for people to find what they seek onthe internet that makes our role essential.

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