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State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries
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State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries

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  • 1. State of Technology Access and Funding in U.S. Public Libraries NELINET Symposium December 5, 2008 Larra Clark Project Manager Office for Research & Statistics www.ala.org/plinternetfunding lclark@ala.org 12/05/08
  • 2. State of Technology Access “The Internet is more significant to libraries than has been any technology since the book – changing social roles, expectations and impacts of libraries in the eyes of patrons, communities and governments.” Charles R. McClure “Public Libraries and Internet Service Roles” 12/05/08
  • 3. Today’s Program Background on Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study Key findings and trends from study Putting data to work Q&A 12/05/08
  • 4. Background The Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study assesses public access to computers, the Internet and Internet-related services in U.S. public libraries, as well as the impact of library funding changes on connectivity, technology deployment and sustainability. 12/05/08
  • 5. Collaboration in Action
  • 6. Three-Part Study Public Libraries & the Internet online survey Focus groups and site visits Annual high-level questionnaire to Chief Officers of State Library Agencies 12/05/08
  • 7. Key Issues Library infrastructure (bandwidth, staff, space) is being pushed to capacity. Funding data indicate volatility in how libraries support public technology access. Technology is bringing more – not less – public library use. 12/05/08
  • 8. State of Technology Access Public library branches, overall, have an average of 12 public access computers. Rural: 7.5 computers Suburban: 13.9 computers Urban: 21 computers The average age of these computers is fairly evenly split. Less than one year old: average of 6.9 computers 2-3 years old: average of 7.1 computers Greater than 4 years old: average of 5.6 computers 12/05/08
  • 9. State of Technology Access “If we could get away from some of the junk (outdated equipment) we have in the library, the IT person would be less busy.” Nevada library director 12/05/08
  • 10. State of Technology Access More than half of libraries (56.1%) have no plans to add public computers in the coming year. The three leading factors influencing the addition of public computers are: Space (77.7%) Cost (75.9%) Availability of electrical, cabling or other infrastructure (36.4%) 12/05/08
  • 11. New England (FY05) Population  Number of  Average  Average  served outlets computers square footage U.S. 286,472,000 16,543 11.19 * Connecticut 3,504,000 244 10.75 12,568 Maine 1,181,000 278 4.49 4,826 Massachusetts 6,415,000 483 9.07 11,832 New Hampshire 1,303,000 237 4.25 5,007 Rhode Island 1,081,000 73 12.14 11,369 Vermont 602,000 185 3.90 3,223 12/05/08
  • 12. State of Technology Access 48% of libraries have no plans to replace computers in the coming year 42% of libraries do not have a schedule for replacing or adding computers Rural: 56.4% Suburban: 35.6% Urban: 15.6% The most common replacement or addition schedule is every four years. 12/05/08
  • 13. State of Technology Access “The problem has become not basic connectivity, but obtaining and sustaining access to the Internet services and resources the public needs as the demands of the medium and its users grow rapidly.” OITP Connectivity Report 12/05/08
  • 14. State of Technology Access 12/05/08
  • 15. State of Technology Access Two-thirds of libraries now offer wireless access. Rural: 56.6% Suburban: 72.1% Urban: 80.7% Three-quarters of libraries offer wireless on the same connection used for public desktop computers, reducing the actual speed of access over the network. 12/05/08
  • 16. New England (2007-08) Less than  T1 More than T1 Wireless Shared  T1 connection U.S. 25% 38.9% 25.7% 65.9% 74.9% Connecticut 21.2% 15.3% 34.5% 76.1% 36.3% Massachusetts 23.6% 33.2% 17.0% 79.9% 37.2% Rhode Island 27.8% 45.8% 19.4% 93.1% 75% 12/05/08
  • 17. State of Technology Access 12/05/08
  • 18. State of Technology Access 12/05/08
  • 19. State of Funding Effective technology planning requires detailed expenditure data. Funding data indicate volatility in how libraries support public technology access. Libraries rely as much on “other” sources of revenue as they do state and federal to pay for technology-related expenditures. Library expenditures are shifting away from collections and staff toward “other” expenditures. 12/05/08
  • 20. Non-Tax Revenue Average Percentage Technology-Related Expenditures from FY 2008 Non-Tax Revenue Sources by Type and Population Served Outside Hardware / Salaries Vendors Software Telecommunications Less than 10,000 4.6% 17.7% 45.5% 21.8% 10,000 - 24,999 4.3% 4.5% 25.8% 11.7% 25,000 - 99,999 1.9% 9.0% 20.6% 4.7% 100,000 - 499,999 3.5% 16.7% 13.5% 6.6% 500,000 or more 0.0% 0.2% 8.6% 0.0% 12/05/08
  • 21. Non-Tax Revenue 12/05/08
  • 22. Non-Tax Revenue 12/05/08
  • 23. New England (FY05) Average local  Average “other” Average total  revenue per capita revenue per capita revenue per capita U.S. $27.59 $2.85 $33.87 Connecticut $38.13 $7.08 $45.75 Maine $20.90 $7.19 $28.25 Massachusetts $30.70 $2.88 $35.42 New Hampshire $31.55 $2.57 $34.14 Rhode Island $25.68 $6.90 $40.28 Vermont $20.07 $7.51 $27.60 12/05/08
  • 24. Changes in State Funding, 2007 Decreases No Increases Change 11%+ 5-10% 3-4% 1-2% 1-2% 3-4% 5-10% 11%+ Totals Midwest 1 0 0 0 3 3 1 1 3 12 Northeast 0 0 0 0 3 0 2 0 0 5 South 0 0 1 1 5 2 0 2 4 15 West 1 0 0 0 6 2 2 0 2 13 Totals 2 0 1 1 17 7 5 3 9 45 12/05/08
  • 25. Trends Library infrastructure is being stretched to capacity. 12/05/08
  • 26. Staff “The technology was brought in, and a whole new service created, without additional staff. It was just double the work for no more money.” -- North Carolina library director 12/05/08
  • 27. Staff 12/05/08
  • 28. Staff Teaching patron technology classes One-on-one patron assistance Troubleshooting Digital reference Technology planning 12/05/08
  • 29. IT support 12/05/08
  • 30. Staff training “Library staff members often have skills that would fit better into a 1995 library than a library of the new millennium. …We have not clearly outlined expectations, and we have not trained to those expectations in a satisfactory way.” -- Sarah Houghton Jan “Technology Competencies and Training for Libraries” 12/05/08
  • 31. Internet Services 12/05/08
  • 32. Patron Technology Use About 73% of libraries report they are the only source of free access to computers and the Internet in their communities. Groupings of patron technology use: Communication Employment E-government Education/information Entertainment Routine tasks 12/05/08
  • 33. Patron Technology Use “The digital divide is alive and well in our areas. They either cannot afford high speed or (service providers) do not go there.” --Virginia library director 12/05/08
  • 34. Patron Technology Use “If you can’t apply for a job stocking shelves at Food Lion, it’s vital.” --North Carolina library director 12/05/08
  • 35. Online visits to libraries Interconnections: The IMLS National Study on the Use of Libraries, Museums and the Internet 71 million adults made 561 million remote online visits to libraries in 2006. 73 million adults made 204 million in-person online visits. Almost half of all in-person visitors to the library used a library- provided computer online in their last visit. Education is the number one reason given for use of library computers. 12/05/08
  • 36. Putting Data to Work “Nothing demonstrates the value of the modern public library like the demand for computers. Usually, just a walk inside a library is a quick lesson about the demand for computers, but if there are any doubts, the American Library Association has issued a national report showing that nine out of every 10 libraries have to set time limits…to accommodate the demand for computer access. Walking into a library should not be viewed as a quiet, lonely search for a book. It is cause for celebration. More computers can help.” --Tennessean editorial, September 16, 2008 12/05/08
  • 37. Putting Data to Work Strategic planning Budget presentations/grantwriting Community outreach Media relations 12/05/08
  • 38. Recommended Resources Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study (ALA/FSU) www.ala.org/plinternetfunding Public Library Connectivity Project (ALA OITP, 2007) www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/oitp/papersa/public _version_final.pdf The Joy of Computing (MaintainIT) www.maintainitproject.org/cookbooks 12/05/08
  • 39. Recommended Resources “Technology Competencies and Training for Libraries” (Library Technology Reports March/April 2007) www.techsource.ala.org “Public Libraries and Internet Service Roles” (ALA Editions 2008) www.alastore.ala.org “Interconnections: The IMLS National Study on the Use of Libraries, Museums and the Internet” (February 2008) http://interconnectionsreport.org/ 12/05/08
  • 40. Closing Today’s public libraries are thriving technology hubs that millions rely on for first or only choice for Internet access, particularly now during the current economic downturn. Library infrastructure (bandwidth, staff, space) is being pushed to capacity. Sustaining this vital technology access requires ongoing support for staff, operating hours, improved bandwidth, replacement schedules and electronic collections. 12/05/08

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