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Myths and facts about library computer users

You won’t be surprised to learn that free public access computers in U.S. libraries continue to be in high demand, according to research from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. What may surprise you are some of the details of the findings.

Myth 1: Library computer users are a small segment of the population. Fact: One third of the American public used a library computer in 2009. These users mirror the general public in terms of age, wealth and education, ranging from those with little formal education to people with graduate degrees.

Myth 2: People who use library computers do not have access to computers and the Internet at home. Fact: The majority of library users — 86 percent — do have computers at home. But the remaining 14 percent use library computers more often, at least once a week or daily.

Myth 3: Libraries are for kids and books. Fact: In addition to providing books and children’s programs, libraries are places for people to explore new technologies, and check out music, e-books, videos, DVDs and a variety of other resources. Significantly, people of all ages make use of library computers. Young people between 14 and 19 use them mostly for educational purposes, those between 25 and 54 use them for mostly for employment and training, and older people focus on health information.

This research shows that public access computing is not a temporary community service whose need will fall away as more people get computers in their homes. Rather, whether or not you have a computer at home, you are likely to go to the library to take advantage of library resources to complete school assignments, to find a job, and to learn more about health, wellness and many other issues.

Lego Club

Don’t forget this month’s Lego Club, a free event on the second Saturday of every month for kids aged 6–13. Legos are provided. Just bring your imagination next Saturday, March 10, from 10:30–11:45 a.m.

Youth crafts

Kids in the first–third grades are invited to Art Attack, free hands-on crafts fun from 2–3:15 p.m., next Friday, March 16.


If you are not aware of all the free e-book opportunities available for our patrons through your library, please read the Oct. 27, 2011, Library News column, which you can find on our website by clicking on the News & Events box in the left column of the home page.

Books on CD

“The Drop” by Michael Connelly is the latest in the crime series featuring LAPD detective Harry Bosch. “Red Mist” by Patricia Cornwall is the latest in the mystery series featuring Dr. Kay Scarpetta. “Kill Shot” by Vince Flynn is the latest in the Mitch Rapp thriller series. “Sleepwalker” by Karen Robards is a mystery featuring policewoman Micayla Lange in Michigan. “V is for Vengeance” by Sue Grafton is the latest in this highly popular alphabet mystery series.

New novels

“Valley of Dreams” by Lauraine Snelling is book one of the new Wild West Wind series. “The Fear Index” by Robert Harris tells of a Geneva-based hedge fund billionaire who can secretly predict movements in the financial markets until his elaborate security is breached. “Touch of Power” by Maria V. Snyder follows a healer who surprisingly finds her gifts valued by her kidnappers. “Country of the Bad Wolfes” by James Carlos Blake is a three-generation saga centering on two sets of identical twins, ranging from New England to the heart of Mexico. “Home Front” by Kristin Hannah follows a woman who goes to war, and her defense attorney husband left at home to care for their two daughters. “Pineapple Grenade” by Tim Dorsey sets the weirdness bar for Miami to new heights. “Dawn’s Prelude” by Tracie Peterson follows a young woman who escapes her home and adult stepchildren’s attacks to go to Sitka after her husband dies and leaves her a fortune.

Mysteries and thrillers

“The Orphan Master’s Son” by Adam Johnson follows a young man’s journey through the spy chambers of the world’s most mysterious dictatorship, North Korea. “The Chalk Girl” by Carol O’Connell is the latest in the NYDP crime series featuring Mallory. “The Silence” by J. Sidney Jones is an historical mystery set in Vienna in 1900. “Boston Cream” by Howard Shrier is the latest in the Jonah Geller mystery series, this one involving illegal organ transplants in Boston. “All I Did Was Shoot My Man” by Walter Mosley goes back to a murder eight years earlier and a story that involves a fairly dysfunctional family.

Other nonfiction

“Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain uses research and stories of successful people to demonstrate how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. “Fairy Tale Interrupted” by Rosemary Terenzio is a memoir by JFK Jr.’s secretary is a moving tribute and insider’s picture of her friend and employer. “A History of the World in 100 Objects” by Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, is a dramatically original approach to history.

Thanks to our donors

For books and materials this week, we thank Gayle Broadbent, Jenny Iguchi, Bamma Laizure and Margaret Wilson.

Quotable quote

“The very essence of leadership is that you have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You cannot blow an uncertain trumpet.” — Father Theodore Hesburgh, former president of Notre Dame University, born in May 1917.


For more information on library books, services and programs — and to reserve books from the comfort of your home — visit our website at

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