Internet Access @ your library

bq.Virtually every U.S. public library now offers free Internet access but most ration it, inhibiting the ability of lower-income families to benefit from the Information Age. – “Anick Jesdanun(Library internet access better than ever)”: At my library, we ration internet usage as well. But we also allow people to stay on longer if they have a legitimate need to do so (which does happen, but is extremely rare). In my experience, this is much less of an issue than the article makes it out to be.
bq.One of the ways in which we can help our libraries succeed is turning them into user-centered institutions. This means really thinking about our users, and examining the rules and policies that might benefit us, but also might be preventing our patrons’ successful use and continued enjoyment of our libraries. – “Aaron Schmidt(letting go)”: We also went through a couple of changes very recently that may or may not help. Guest Access is now $1.00 for a week (reduced from $5.00). We now have razor-thin margin, but I argue that we would actually make more money with a better P/E ratio. And it seems to be working. But of course, this actually increases usage. The other change is that wireless access for non-residents is now free, instead of $3.00 for a week (greatly reduced staff time). This hasn’t been used a tremendous amount yet, but I think it will continue to have a positive impact as we move into the future.