U.S. Libraries: Computer Use Up, Funding Down

Libraries increasingly find themselves helping job seekers, e-book readers, and students

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U.S. Libraries: Computer Use Up, Funding Down

OpenSite published an infographic yesterday that covers some of the same trends I discussed last week in a podcast interview with the head of the American Library Association, Maureen Sullivan. Some additional facts about U.S. libraries we didn't discuss include (the full graphic is below):

  • Library usage is way up (over the past six years). For example, Boston saw library visits rise 44 percent, Chicago 36 percent, and Brooklyn, N.Y., 31 percent.
  • 70 percent of libraries report rising use of public access computers. Yet,
  • 76 percent report not having enough computers to meet demand, and 45 percent say their Internet connections are too slow.

Libraries help tens of millions of job seekers do their seeking; in fact, 72 percent of libraries report helping out with online applications.

A 2010 infographic by the non-profit Online Computer Library Center had a few other nice stats:

  • More libraries (12 000) provided free Wi-Fi than Starbucks (11 000)
  • Libraries lent out almost as many movies (2.1 million) as Netflix (2.1 million)
  • Libraries were more popular (1.4 billion visits) than movie theatres (1.3 billion tickets)

The Future of Libraries

Images: Open-site.org, Wikipedia

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