Libraries continue to transform lives by providing critical services and innovative solutions to information access, in spite of years’ worth of consecutive and cumulative budget cuts. More Americans than ever are turning to their libraries for access to essential technology services not found elsewhere in their communities, including free computer and Internet access, technology training, and assistance with job-seeking and e-government services.
Strategic vision and careful management have helped U.S. public libraries “weather the storm” of the Great Recession, supporting their role as a lifeline to the technology resources and training essential to building digitally inclusive communities that enable full participation in civic life and in the nation’s economy.
The successes and challenges faced by U.S. public libraries are outlined in the U.S. Public Libraries Weather the Storm (2012 Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study), produced by the American Library Association (ALA) and the Information Policy & Access Center (iPAC) at the University of Maryland.
(American Library Association, October 2012)