Public libraries and the Internet: A twenty-five year perspective

Public libraries and the Internet: A twenty-five year perspective

"When I proposed in 1993 to the then National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS) a national survey of public library use and access to the Internet, there was some skepticism that public librarians and policy makers needed such a study – despite an earlier 5-6 years of work on libraries and the Internet we had done before 1993.  When the data from this first survey were released in 1994 there was considerable interest in its findings – especially data related to the percentage of public libraries (20.9% as reported in 1994) that provided public access to the Internet.

Since that first national survey, sponsorship changed a number of times to different units of the American Library Association, NCLIS, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  The national survey evolved into a much larger effort and became the Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study (PLFTAS) of which the most recent is the 2011-2012 Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study.

The purpose of this blog is NOT to make statistical comparisons related to public library use and access to the Internet between then and now.  But rather, it is to offer a couple of perspectives on public libraries and the Internet in terms of past and future themes." ...