|Weekly News Digest
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IMLS Publishes Research Brief on Public Libraries During the Early Pandemic
IMLS “announced … the release of a research brief on the public library response to community needs during the first 9 months of the COVID-19 pandemic.” The brief, “Access to Public Library Services and Materials During the First Nine Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic,” “highlights how public libraries ensured patrons had access to library services as the pandemic forced closures in communities around the nation beginning in March 2020. This is emblematic of the significant role libraries have in their communities.”
Findings include the following:
- While library buildings were closed to the public, 62% of libraries intentionally provided Wi-Fi internet access to users outside the buildings.
- The percentage of libraries allowing patrons to register for library cards online more than doubled to 64% during the pandemic.
- Usage of e-books and downloadable audio/video materials increased 25% from FY 2019 to FY 2020.
For more information, read the press release.
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