Internet access services in public libraries are highly valued, popular and heavily used. Services have grown and improved over the past three years. Users particularly appreciate the improvements in access, bandwidth and speed that many libraries have made. Internet access services are used for study and learning; accessing government and other services, such as banking; recreation and e-mail and many other purposes.
This survey of internet access in public libraries covers 41 per cent of public libraries across Australia. Library services which participated in the survey represent almost 6 million registered users and over 77 000 people access internet services in these libraries each week. This report is a follow-up to a similar survey in 2002 and provides up-to-date information on how public library internet services are being managed, delivered and used.
Australia's public libraries are key players in addressing the need for equitable community access to online information and services. Public access internet services in libraries are expanding. Public libraries are important sources for internet training, access to online services and providers of valuable online content, including content available only by subscription.