bq.For the library, supplying patrons with access to the Internet and the Web has become central to its mission, an updating of its long tradition of providing information free to the public. The transition has come quickly. In 1996, 28 percent of all libraries had PC’s for public access to the Internet. Now, 95 percent of libraries offer Internet access. The Gates foundation accelerated the trend. There are now more than 120,000 Internet-connected PC’s for public use in municipal libraries nationwide. Since 1998, the foundation has installed or paid for more than 47,000 PC’s. The raw numbers somewhat overstate how many of the foundation-sponsored machines are currently in use. (In Terrebonne Parish, for example, the 35 Gates foundation computers have been replaced by newer PC’s purchased by the library.) – “Steve Lohr(Libraries Wired, and Reborn)”:http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/22/technology/circuits/22gate.html?ex=1397966400&en=5b78d7eb1987a6b9&ei=5007&partner=google While most have had a RAM upgrade and many have had an operating system change, we are still using nearly all of our original workstations. As John Dvorak used to point out constantly, how much “processing power(Slowdown Lowdown)”:http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,163226,00.asp do you actually need to surf the web? A Pentium III 500 with 256 MB of RAM does just fine for our patrons (especially those not used to broadband level speeds).