Issues Briefs

public library funding and technology access study

The Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study gathered a wide range of data related to computer and Internet access in U.S. public libraries - including the number of computers, barriers to high-speed Internet access, Internet services and trainings available, and funding for technology.

The Study research team has produced topical briefs related to issues affecting communities’ access to technology in our public libraries.

Library staff are encouraged to use these briefing papers as educational tools with community stakeholders, including elected officials, funders and program partners, as needed to raise awareness of the specific - and sometimes unique - concerns of libraries around technology deployment. Staff may also use this format as a template for providing local data and examples related to a given topic. 

ALA Brief: U.S. Public Libraries Weather the Storm (2012)
More Americans than ever are turning to their libraries for access to essential technology services including free computer and Internet access, technology training, and assistance with job-seeking and e-government services. This issue brief outlines how strategic vision and careful management have helped public libraries “weather the storm” of the Great Recession, supporting their role as a lifeline to the innovative technology resources essential to building digitally inclusive communities that enable full participation in civic life and in the nation’s economy.

More issues briefs are available from our research partner at the Information Policy & Access Center at the University of Maryland.

Community Access
Digital Literacy

Previously published issues briefs are in the Issues Briefs Archive, 2008-2011.

Contact the Office for Research & Statistics for questions about content on this page.