Libraries: The Key Link for Jobs, Health and Education
Results from Gates Foundation National Study
Seventy-seven million Americans age 14 or older---equivalent to one-third of our population---use public library computers or wireless networks says a new study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation titled: Opportunity for All: How the American
Public Benefits from Internet Access in U.S. Libraries.
Of this group,
- 40% search for jobs and fill out applications,
- 37% research health issues for themselves or their families, and
- 42% find help with educational research or completing homework assignments.
Another key finding identifies low-income adults
as more likely to rely on the public library as their sole access to computers and the Internet than any other group.
Unfortunately, access to public library services in Pennsylvania is shrinking due to budget cuts at the state and local level despite the fact that millions of constituents see libraries as essential tools to connect them to opportunity.
For the 2010-2011 state budget, the Pennsylvania Library Association urges Governor Rendell, State Senators and State Representatives to restore access to much needed library services for their constituents.
Please send a message to your legislator about this important study!
Libraries are agents of change for the positive. Note the following examples: --Literacy; --Workforce training. Many people entering the workforce rely on libraries to get them online; --Small business resources. Local businesses are increasingly tapping into the library's online databases to keep themselves competitive and to find new business opportunities; and finally, --Libraries as Catalysts for development. My thesis is that supporting libraries is a wise investment. Your insights are welcome. Communicate with Richard Thau, Director at email@example.com
You hardly ever see Rita, but she sure helps you find things. Rita has worked in technical services for over three years. Before that she was at the main circulation desk and in the Children's Room.
Rita processes overdues, magazines and requests. She is in charge of helping customers find an item through Inter-library loan (ILL). She also bills customers for lost items.
Her pet peeve is lack of time and space to function as she would like. Yet her greatest satisfaction is being able to locate that “unfindable” book that a customer requested, somewhere in the United States.
Rita says that in her 15 years here, “the library continues to be busy and thrive”-- she sees no decline.
Rita serves on the Publications and Entertainment committees. In what little free time she has at home, she loves to do word search puzzles and spend time with her family: her husband of 30 years and three grown children (two girls and a boy).
Congratulations to the Philadelphia Flyers in an outstanding come from behind playoff series victory. And the winning seemingly continues as of this posting. It is also a story for the library community to contemplate as well. The public library should likewise never give up the good fight. To continue to provide current services to the best of our abilities despite real challenges and to continue to plan for the evolutionary changes necessary for long-term growth. With a supportive and cheering crowd (our library constituency), the challenge continues. Go HTFL! Go Flyers!
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