Public Libraries and the Internet: Roles, Perspectives and Implications. Ed. By John Carlo Bertot, Paul T. Jaeger and Charles R. McClure. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO/ Libraries Unlimited, 2011. 295 pp. US$45.00 soft cover ISBN 9781591587767 (available from Inbooks)
This work is an examination of the impact of the Internet on libraries and an investigation of the issues that affect librarians, both now and in the immediate future. This book uses data from the Public Libraries and the Internet series of surveys and studies that have been carried out over the last 15 years. The aim of the book is to review the survey data and identify key trends in Internet service provision by public libraries over the course of the study. Issues highlighted include the importance of public library Internet access in providing employment and health information, education opportunities and access for disadvantaged members of the community.
There are many new challenges facing library professionals when providing Internet access to library users, including costing for Internet usage, technical issues and censorship. In addition, there are professional development requirements for library staff to allow them to respond to the increasingly complex technical requests from users. It is not simply a case of providing computers and Internet access; staff need the knowledge to help with printing, scanning and increasingly complex technological and software queries.
This volume begins with a history of the relationship between public libraries and information technologies and the new roles of libraries in the community. Technology is an integral part of the library for organising, storing and retrieving information. The rise of the Internet and the role of the public library in Internet provision …