Government Information Quarterly Publishes Paper by Mandel, Bishop and McClure (and others) Analyzing Broadband for Public Libraries

U.S. public libraries provide free public internet services to the communities that they serve, but require robust, high-speed broadband internet connections to continue meeting public demands.

The Information Institute’s Lauren H. Mandel, Bradley Wade Bishop and Charles R. McClure, (with John C. Bertot and Paul T. Jaeger, University of Maryland) recently published a paper in Government Information Quarterly that analyzes 2008–2009 Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study (PLFTAS) data to illustrate the challenges public libraries encounter in achieving broadband connectivity and equipment upgrades and maintaining acceptable levels of services as they meet continually increasing internet-enabled service demands. The paper:

  1. Analyzes the ability of public libraries to serve as a community-based public internet access point in the context of limited funding and access to telecommunications services and equipment;
  2. Discusses key policy issues that affect the provision of public library internet-enabled services through broadband;
  3. Provides recommendations for policy makers to include libraries as part of a larger national-level telecommunications policy; and
  4. Identifies a number of topics and issues that need further investigation and research in this shifting policy environment.

The paper is available online at, and more information on the Broadband work being done at the Information Institute can be found at