State Aid Review Committee 2006

Public Libraries-A Technology Overview

Internet Access-An estimated 97% of public libraries in Massachusetts have some access to the Internet and make the Internet available to their users. The number of Internet workstations available to the public ranges from 0 to 559.

Internet Bandwidth varies from 56 Kbps dial-up to multiple T1s. Broadband is not available to an estimated 30 public libraries as their communities are not served by a cable television system or Verizon has not made DSL available. Investigations are actively underway to determine if satellite or cellular alternatives.

Public libraries receive Internet service through automated library networks, cable companies, DSL, satellite, and dial-up.

Public Library membership in automated networks is summarized below. As of July 2005, 302 public libraries were members of an automated library resource sharing network. Another 42 public libraries received Internet connectivity by a special arrangement with an automated network (most through C/W MARS) and 26 public libraries were completely outside that system and arranged for Internet service (if any) on their own.

C/W MARS 124

CLAMS 24

MBLN 3

MLN 35

MVLC 35

NOBLE 17

OCLN 26

SAILS 38

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Page last updated on 09/6/2007