For this week’s module I chose to explore the hyperlinked public library section since it is the area that I am the most interested in. I want to become a librarian in a public library so this section of the module would be useful to me in the long run.
After going through the readings for hyperlinked public libraries I can’t help but think about the different needs of the library patrons and the resources that people are taking for granted. The importance of technology and the internet in libraries is pointed out multiple times throughout the readings.
Pew Research Center (2014, March 18) found that “highly-engaged library users are also big technology users” (paras. 5). A large reason for this scenario is the fact that many people don’t have regular access to the internet. These people either don’t possess technology that can go on the internet or lack the sufficient funds to pay for the costs of having home internet access. “The New York Times article also cited research from the New York Public Library which found that a majority of patrons who use the library’s internet and computers lack home internet access.” (Pew Research Center, 2014, July 9, paras. 4) The problem is worse for rural or underdeveloped areas. Hemphill (2019) stated that “In some towns, after all, the public library is the only place to acquire a passport, connect to Wi-Fi or use a photocopier.” (paras. 4)
This is why it is important for hyperlinked public libraries to constantly connect with their patrons and the community. By understanding the different needs of their patrons the libraries can best decide how they would use their funds on programs, new technology, and etc. Some libraries may decide to increase the amount of computers if the majority of their library patrons don’t have home internet access, while others would focus on educational programs if the patrons are only using the library for their education. It all depends on the environment of the hyperlinked public library.
Hemphill, E. (2019, February 5). A look at the evolving role – and shifting spaces – of today’s public libraries. St. Louis Public Radio. Retrieved from https://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/look-evolving-role-and-shifting-spaces-todays-public-libraries#stream/0
Pew Research Center. (2014, March 18). A new way of looking at public library engagement in America. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2014/03/18/a-new-way-of-looking-at-public-library-engagement-in-america/
Pew Research Center. (2014, July 9). Public libraries and technology: From “houses of knowledge” to “houses of access”. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2014/07/09/public-libraries-and-technology-from-houses-of-knowledge-to-houses-of-access/
Web Junction. American public libraries & community internet access [Image]. Retrieved from https://www.webjunction.org/content/dam/WebJunction/Documents/webJunction/USLP_FINAL-Print.pdf