Internet Use in Libraries

The ALA Library recently revised ALA Library Fact Sheet 26 - Internet Use in Libraries. Originally, the focus of the fact sheet was on the prevalence of U.S. public libraries having computers with access to the Internet that their patrons could use. But, as noted in the Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study (PLFTAS) 2011-2012, specifically in the section Public Access to and Availability of Public Access Technology (PDF), virtually all public library outlets provide public access to the Internet.

And so the focus of the fact sheet now 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 public libraries provide.

Findings from the most recent editions of our annual reports, PLFTAS 2011-2012 and 2012 State of America's Libraries: A Report from the American Library Association are noted, along with those from the Public Libraries in the United States Survey: Fiscal Year 2010 (2013) released in January 2013, which stated:

Providing public access computers continued to be one of the fastest growing services in public libraries. In FY 2010, public libraries reported a computer use rate of more than one use for every five visits to the library. Public libraries have responded to demand by increasing access, doubling the number of computers in the past 10 years.

Also featured are the recent reports from Pew Internet Libraries and the U.S. IMPACT Public Library Study.

We did keep the information there about CIPA, the Children's Internet Protection Act.

And the fact sheet starts with a small box of the most current ALA resources on internet use in libraries, drawing from several ALA units, including the ALA TechSource Blog,  the ALA Washington Office District Dispatch Blog, and the Libraries Connect Communities Blog for PLFTAS.

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