Public Libraries Are Still Viable, As Places to Get Online

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Photo: Ben Hider

A popular fear is that the rise of the Internet is a threat to public libraries because people can get all their information online now. But a recent Pew study found the library is actually becoming as valuable for its free, public, Internet access as it is for its free, public books. Of the 2,252 Americans Pew surveyed, 80 percent said book borrowing was a "very important library service," and "77 percent said the same thing about computers and the Internet," The New York Times reports. That suggests the existence of the Internet is not threat to libraries, but the notion that they can be replaced by it sure is.