July 16, 2008
Professional Reading: The Impacts of Free Public Internet Access on Public Library Patrons and Communities
The Impacts of Free Public Internet Access on Public Library Patrons and Communities by John Carlo Bertot, Charles R. McClure and Paul T. Jaeger has been published in the July 2008 issue of The Library Quarterly. Here's the abstract:
Public libraries have evolved into a primary source of Internet access in many communities, generating wide-ranging impacts in the communities that public libraries serve. Based on the findings of the 2007 Public Libraries and the Internet study, this article examines the ways in which the Internet access delivered by public libraries affects their communities. This article describes the public access technology roles of public libraries and explores the relationships among community impacts, community expectations, and public policies related to libraries. The analysis emphasizes the effects of future Internet platforms and applications and online communities on the community impacts. This article also examines ways in which to measure these impacts from other perspectives, including developing a means of assessing the users' perceptions of the impacts of public library Internet access in their own lives and in their communities.
See also: Rita Dermody's (Collection Access Services Librarian, King County Law Library in Seattle) article Reaching the e-Generation (pdf), Law Librarians in the New Millennium (March-April 2008), for programs King County Law Library has implemented to bring legal information to patrons and bring patrons to the law library. [JH]
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