Libraries Closing Digital Divide Thanks to BTOP Investments

WASHINGTON DC - In a time of flat and decreased budgets, BTOP funding has been a gateway to improved technology access at thousands of libraries nationwide, according to the American Library Association (ALA) in its "2012 Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study." While libraries continue to report challenges meeting the technology demands of their communities, a marked improvement in access is providing some measure of relief.

  • Public libraries reported an average of 16.4 computers in 2012, up from 14.2 computers two years earlier. Sixty-five percent of libraries report insufficient public computers to meet demand, down from 76 percent the previous year.

  • Thirteen percent of libraries added or replaced computers with BTOP funds in 2012, and 12 percent plan to add or replace computers with such funds in 2013.

  • Nearly one-third of libraries report offering connection speeds greater than 10 Mbps in 2012,up from 18 percent two years earlier. Forty-one percent of libraries report insufficient Internet connection speeds, down from 45 percent the previous year.


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