• Computer use surges; demand exceeds supply
• Libraries offer more digital services
• Bandwith issues remain
While the number of public access Internet computers grew for the first time in six years–12 per branch, up from 10.7 in a year–nearly 20% of public libraries say demand for computers exceeds supply all the time, while 63% say that occurs some of the time. And while the number of library visits grew 18.6% in five years, full-time staff increased just 6%.
Such increased demands on libraries are documented in “Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study 2007-2008,” conducted by the American Library Association (ALA) and the Information Use Management and Policy Institute at Florida State University (FSU), with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.