Impact on Reading and Literacy

Employment and entrepreneurship

Activities related to employment were the third highest reported use for library computer users, with 40 percent of the respondents indicating use in this area. In addition, 7 percent of the users used the library for activities related to starting or managing a business of their own.Results from the study show that libraries are serving as an important supplement to local and federal agencies focused on employment activities, by providing access to needed services in a setting that can offer support and access to all members of the community. In the current economy, these services are making a difference in the lives of individuals and their families across the nation.In addition to finding actual jobs, people reported using the library’s online resources for preparatory steps such as creating resumes, researching job information, submitting applications online, and receiving training for job-related skills. Those who are employed use the library to conduct work, and entrepreneurs and small business owners use the library’s computer resources for writing business plans, finding investors, marketing, and business administration. (p.71-2)

Users learn about educational programs at the library

A first step in meeting educational needs for many users is learning about a program of study—almost 37 percent of library computer users who engaged in educational activities indicated that they used library computer resources to look for information on educational programs ranging from GEDs to graduate degrees. (p.61)

Libraries have become an important part of the educational system

Libraries have become an important part of the educational system in the United States, particularly through their computer and Internet services; in addition to allowing users access to the educational system online, they provide individual work stations, specialized classes, one-on-one training, and coordinated efforts with other groups in support of educational activities. (p.56)

Students tend to perform better where...

Students tend to perform better on achievement tests where school libraries have: More full-time equivalents (FTEs) of staffing; Larger collections of periodicals and instructional videos; Better-networked online resources made accessible via computers in the library as well as in classrooms, lab, and offices; Higher total library expenditures; and Heavier use, as indicated by both library visits and circulation. (p. 11)