Background

The American Library Association and the Center for Library & Information Innovation (http://www.liicenter.org) in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is surveying a national sample of public libraries regarding their Internet connectivity and computing access resources. Dr. John Carlo Bertot, Dr. Charles R. McClure, and Ms. Denise M. Davis are the study managers. This continues the biennial surveys of public library public computer and Internet access conducted by Bertot & McClure since 1994. More information regarding the overall project is available at http://www.ala.org/plinternetfunding.

The data from the study will help you plan or improve technology and service deployment, assess your library's broadband needs, report progress and challenges to your funders regarding the library's public access technology, and identify the impacts of your library's public computer and Internet access on the community your library serves. The survey report and data also support you in efforts to inform and educate stakeholders - policymakers, funders, elected officials, supporters, and the media - at the local, state and national levels about the issues and needs your library faces in providing public computer and Internet access services and resources, such as with the recent broadband stimulus component of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), also known as the Stimulus Bill. Additional information regarding this and previous studies is available at http://www.liicenter.org/plinternet.

The 2009 Survey

The 2009 National Survey of Public Library Computer and Internet Access is web-based and you may access it by clicking HERE, or selecting the "Complete Survey" tab on the right. The survey focuses on advocacy, impacts, benefits, and challenges of public access Internet services in public libraries. A particular goal of the 2009 study is to help public libraries develop advocacy strategies for developing sustainable funding sources for public access Internet services and resources.

The survey has two parts: 1) questions relevant to library branches, and 2) questions related to library systems. Please complete both parts. For many libraries, there is no distinction between a branch and a system. We realize that public libraries in each state are organized differently and that the term "system" can mean something different from state to state. By system we mean the central authority for the library - that is, the entity that makes budget decisions, applies for E-rate, and makes other management decisions. We do not use the term "system" to mean regional cooperatives or other forms of federated libraries. The web-based survey is designed to differentiate between libraries with and without branches, so it will automatically account for your library's specific situation. We encourage all public libraries in the United States to participate.

Your involvement is extremely important. Libraries will be able to participate in the survey until November 13, 2009.

If you wish to view the survey in its entirety, a PDF version of the survey questions is available. Please note that this form is NOT the interactive web survey form, and is different in appearance than the actual interactive web survey form. We are providing the PDF version for informational purposes.

If you have questions about the 2009 National Survey of Public Library Computer and Internet Access, please contact the researchers at: support@plinternetsurvey.org, or (301) 405-9445.

Upon completion of the survey, you may register to win an Amazon Kindle.