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Posts tagged access
The Next Digital Divide: Productive Access
As we continue to grapple with concepts like digital literacy, digital divide and their evolution into more profound empowerment definitions that enable our citizens to fully engage in a digital world there are facts that cannot be ignored. According to a study “Opportunity for All: How American Public Benefits from Internet Access at US Libraries.”
- An estimated 149 million American’s visited public libraries in 2010.
- Nearly half of these visitors made use of library computers and wireless networks to access the Internet.
- Library visits are highest among the working poor.
- Thirty million people used library computers and internet access for employment or career purposes last year.
- Sixty-eight percent of those users searched for a job and submitted an application online.
- Forty-six percent of those who visited a library last year did so to work on their resumes.
Susan H. Hildreth, “Libraries Succeed by Constantly Evolving” (via thelifeguardlibrarian)
The ways in which these library visitors use the Internet is illustrative of how vital a public service this has become. The data collected for Opportunity for All show that 42 percent of those using library computers for Internet access used it to advance educational goals; 40 percent had career or employment purposes, with three-quarters of those specifically seeking a job; 37 percent were focused on health and wellness; and 34 percent used the library’s Internet connection to link to government officials, programs, and services. These are not leisurely activities that one may choose to pursue or not pursue; they are central to life and well-being.