According to findings from a report by the American Library Association, libraries have actively adapted to their role as the community “one-stop shop” in the digital world by serving as job and career centers and satellite offices for e-government services while continuing to support lifelong learners.
Other key findings from the report include:
- Most libraries report use of technology resources increased over the past year.
- A pervasive “new normal” of increased demand for library technology resources paired with decreased funding has forced public libraries across the country to scale back on operating hours and access to services, just when resources are most needed.
- As more employers and government agencies provide information exclusively in a digital format, communities rely on public library staff and technology services more than ever. To apply for jobs or seek government services, at minimum users require Internet access and computer proficiency.
- Public libraries provide access to a wide range of Internet resources and technology training and, due to increased demand, continue to expand available resources and support.
American Library Association (2011). Libraries connect communities: Key findings 2010–2011. Chicago, IL: American Library Association. http://www.ala.org/news/sites/ala.org.news/files/content/mediapresscenter/presskits/plftas11/2011_PLFTAS_Key%20Findings.pdf