The first shower of news from the ALA Mid-winter Meetings here is in Seattle was the Gates Foundation pledging another 5 years of support so “public libraries serving low-income communities continue to provide free, high-quality computer and Internet services and training to their communities”.
Some interesting numbers from the release:
-14 million people rely on library computers to further their education, look for work and to get health and government information.
-almost 40 percent of Americans are still lacking Internet access at home.
-the Gates Foundations has contributed over $325 million to date to library technology initiatives to overcome the “digital divide”
Our hats go off to the Gates Foundation for their support let’s just hope that support is not limiting the technology options for our libraries and ultimately our citizens