Digital Divide

“To the surprise of many readers, public library e-book “shelves” now sport gaping holes. The Witness by Nora Roberts? Unseen. The Lost Years by Mary Higgins Clark? Missing. Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs? DOA.

None of these bestsellers is available through your library’s thoughtfully developed online collections. You may think that your library simply hasn’t bought them yet, or that our shrinking budgets kept us from providing the e-books people are demanding. But the truth is that for the first time, libraries are unable to purchase some materials on behalf of our communities.”

For the rest of the article by Molly Raphael, President of the American Library Association, go to “Publishers Long Overdue in Offering Libraries eBook Titles.”


Who Needs Libraries Anyway?

Who needs libraries?  Turns out that a significant number of us rely on them …

“In casual conversation with family and friends, questions regarding the need for and future of libraries continue to come up. While presenting stats on increased circulation and visits are somewhat of a surprise, what really gets jaws to drop is the fact that almost one-third of Americans do not have high speed internet access at home. Those in the conversation quickly grasp the challenges faced by the “have-nots.”  This is always a great tie-in when highlighting the importance of libraries in providing essential services and bridging the digital divide …

So when libraries come up in the discussion around the holiday table, remember to share the big numbers, including the fact that in 65% of communities, the public library is the sole source for free access to computers and the Internet (73% in rural communities).  Trust me, you’ll see those jaws dropping.”

For the full article, go to “New Study on Internet Use at Home Ties to the Impact of Libraries.”