Schement, Jorge Reina (2003). Measuring what Jefferson knew and de Tocqueville saw: Libraries as bridges across the Digital Divide. IT & Society, 1(4), 118-125. Retrieved from https://doi.org/doi:10.7282/T3ZK5F38
AbstractFor Americans without access, public libraries function as access intensifiers. At present, because 95% of public libraries maintain an Internet connection, functional access extends to nearly every American without household Internet connectivity. Moreover, 60% of library users also go online. Clearly, without public libraries, a large segment of the American population would find themselves increasingly isolated from the public discourses of this Information Age democracy.Jefferson and de Tocqueville witnessed democracy in the making. Jefferson’s future lawyers and de Tocqueville’s backwoods families grasped for connectivity, capability, and content in order to achieve democratic participation. Yet in the present Information Age democracy, gaps in access continue to pose a critical challenge. Toward that end, libraries already function as vital institutions for providing access that is all but universal.
SubjectsInternet access for library users, Public libraries
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