One-Third of Americans use public library computers

By Jason Belk - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A recent study has been released showing that around a third of Americans use public library computers in order to look for jobs, connect with friends, do their homework and improve their lives.

Jodie Thibodeaux finds herself using the public computers at the Jeff Davis Library nearly every day.

"I would say I use the computers at least twice a day. It's very convenient for me to be here because it's within walking distance from my house," said Thibodeaux.

People use the public computers in libraries for everyday tasks, such as job hunting or even social networking.

"I use it for everything, I use it for my school work, my school grades, online shopping, to monitor my own kids on the computer and pretty much to know what's going on in the middle east and at home," said Thibodeaux.

The influx in library computer usage has changed the way many librarians now view their job.

"People need help with not just finding books, but it's also navigating databases, and trying to figure out which Internet sites are credible and which ones aren't," said Samantha Smith, a Calcasieu Parish Library associate.

The nearly 77 million who use the public computers have also gotten libraries to create programs to cater to their needs.

"We offer computer classes here for our patrons that aren't aware of how to use computers," said Rhoda Marsh, who is a Jeff Davis Parish Library Administrative Assistant.

Even with computers becoming more prevalent in public libraries, both librarians and their patrons agree on their convenience.

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