Libraries Adapted to Digital Age

Publication: USA Today

Author: Ledyard King and Robert Benincasa

07/28/2008 - The Internet was supposed to send America's public libraries the way of eight-track tapes and pay phones. But it turns out, they're busier than ever.

Libraries have transformed themselves from staid, sleepy institutions into hip community centers offering Internet service, classes for kids and seniors, and even coffee and video gaming nights.

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"As a group, libraries have embraced the digital age," said Lee Rainie, founding director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which has surveyed public attitudes toward libraries. "They've added collections, added software and hardware, upgraded the skills of their staff. A lot of institutions have had to change in the Internet age, but libraries still have a very robust and large constituency."

A December 2007 Pew survey found that more than half of Americans — 53% — visited a library in the past year. That's expected to grow as more people look for free resources and entertainment in a slowing economy.

Read the full article Libraries Adapted to Digital Age on USA Today's Web site.

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