Ponder this for just a second, though it may be somewhat terrifying: not having the Internet.
That’s right. Take a minute and really mull over the implications on your immediate life and well-being that revolve around access to the wealth of information that exists on the Internet. The way you live would be drastically altered, correct? No more guilty pleasures of browsing through friends’ Facebook or Pinterest profiles, no instant communication through email or chat, no way to retrieve the information you’re looking for in a few short seconds be it e-government documents or simply searching for a job. I know, scary thoughts. The Web offers users almost any information they could possibly seek and for some people their public library is the only portal to this potential knowledge.
Libraries have done a decent job of keeping up with technological advances; they have amassed stockpiles of computers over the past few decades and with them have provided free Internet access to its patrons. Recently, the ALA has revised their Library Fact Sheet 26- Internet Use in Libraries. Before its revision, the fact sheet was primarily indicative of public libraries merely having computers that offered free access to the Internet. American Libraries Magazine states that now “the focus of the fact sheet…is on how libraries assist with the ever-growing Internet access needs of their library patrons…” Unless one is a tech-savvy hacker type that keeps a tab open for every innovation related blog, we all need help at some point with navigating our way through the lovely miscellany of the Internet. This fact sheet, like most everything the ALA puts out, should prove to be a valuable resource in aiding patrons and possibly ourselves in becoming more versed in and adapted to exploring information in the digital realm.