By the numbers

Just as air bags and electronic ignitions are universal in today's cars, Internet access has become a baseline for libraries.

The Education Department's Educational Research and Improvement Office documented the nearly complete adoption of Internet technology in libraries in a recently released study covering 1999.

It found that 92 percent of the nation's 9,046 public libraries had access to the Internet, and 83 percent made access available to patrons directly or through a staff intermediary.
Five percent provided access through a staff intermediary only, and 4 percent allowed access only to library staff.

According to the study, 78 percent of public libraries provided access to electronic services.
The study can be found online at nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2002308.

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