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ALA Study: Internet Connectivity in U.S. Public Libraries

As millions of Americans depend on public libraries for free access to computers and Internet resources, the increasing demand from the users and the growing community needs such as seeking educational, entrepreneurial and employment resources have put great pressure on the public libraries to get reliable, affordable and high-quality Internet access.

The “Internet Connectivity in U.S. Public Libraries” report is provided by the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Research & Statistics. It describes the range of Internet services public libraries provide and the diverse challenges faced by different types of libraries in order to improve Internet connectivity to their communities through the library. The document also links to related research on bandwidth in the United States.

The report includes the following sections:

  • U.S. public libraries provide critical access to Internet services.
  • Library Internet access speeds are improving, but often fall short of patron needs.
  • Urban/suburban/rural communities face different Internet connectivity challenges.
  • Libraries face unique challenges in meeting demand for high-speed Internet access.

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