Updated public library technology issues briefs now available online

Contact: Larra Clark

Project Manager, ORS



For Immediate Release

November 3, 2009

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) Office for Research & Statistics (ORS) is making available online the most recent data published in the Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study (
www.ala.org/plinternetfunding). The information provides up-to-date issues briefs related to public library technology and job-seeking, lifelong learning and Internet connectivity.

Library staffs 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. The briefing reports are not intended to be comprehensive, but rather to share key findings from the largest and longest-running study of Internet connectivity in libraries.

“The issue briefs are well-written and easy to use. I have been able to pull out the data I need and relate it to my local advocacy efforts,” Sari Feldman, director of Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Public Library and president of the Public Library Association (PLA), a division of ALA. “Study data is critical to telling our library stories effectively.”

Current topics include:

“U.S. Public Libraries and E-Government Services," describing the increased use of online government information and services, the critical role of public libraries in helping provide access and assistance using these resources and the challenges that must be addressed to improve e-government at the local, state and federal level.

"Supporting Learners in U.S. Public Libraries," outlining many of the technology resources public libraries provide learners of all ages and challenges libraries face in meeting growing demand, as well as describing how sustained funding enables public libraries to offer increased assistance and services to their communities.

"Job-seeking in U.S. Public Libraries," discussing the range of library resources available to job seekers and challenges to maintaining these services.

"Internet Connectivity in U.S. Public Libraries," describing the varied opportunities and obstacles facing libraries in acquiring and providing high-speed Internet access in rural, suburban and urban libraries.

For more information on the study and to download copies of the issues briefs, please visit
http://www.ala.org/ala/research/initiatives/plftas/issuesbriefs/index.cfm. The research team also invites feedback about future topics and additional tools that would be useful in raising awareness around library technology needs. Please write Larra Clark at