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Wed, Oct 1, 2014

LETTER: Survey participation vital for library

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I want to draw our community’s attention to an important opportunity.

From Wednesday, Jan. 8, through Tuesday, Feb. 4, the Linebaugh Public Library will be conducting a survey to better understand how our community benefits from free access to computers and the Internet at the library.

This information will help the library improve its technology services and communicate the value of providing these services. The survey is anonymous, available in English and Spanish, and takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete.

People from all walks of life use library computers to perform routine and life-changing tasks, from emailing friends to finding jobs.

A 2009 study conducted by the University of Washington reported the use of library technology had significant impact in four critical areas: employment, education, health and make community connections.

The study revealed that 40 percent of library computers users, an estimated 30 million people, received help with the employment needs. Among these users, 75 percent reported they searched for a job online. Half filled out an online application or submitted a resume.

In addition, the study showed 37 percent focused on health issues. Eighty-two percent of these users used the computers to learn about disease, illness or medical condition, while one-third sought out doctors or health care providers, and about half followed up by making appointments for care.

Forty-two percent received help with educational needs. Among these users, 37 percent, an estimated 12 million students, used their local library computer to do homework.

Library computers link to their government, communities and civic organizations. Sixty percent of users – 43.3 million people – used a library’s computer resources to connect with others.

These are the national numbers. But, in order for the library to meet our community’s technology needs and to demonstrate how providing these services make a difference, it is important that we have this information at a local level.

Please support the library and help improve public technology services.

Go to www.linebaught.org to fill out the survey or access it from one of the library’s public access computers.

Gary E. Green
Chairman
Linebaugh Public Library
Murfreesboro, Tenn.

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