ERIC Number: ED413924
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Oct-15
Reference Count: N/A
Linking People to the Global Networked Society. Evaluation of the Online at PA Libraries Project: Public Access to the Internet through Public Libraries.
McClure, Charles R.; Bertot, John Carlo
This report provides an evaluation of the Online at PA Libraries project which was initiated in the Fall of 1996 by the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Office of Commonwealth Libraries and the Schuylkill Intermediate Unit. The report documents that the following goals were accomplished: (1) provide public access to the Internet through Pennsylvania's public libraries; (2) provide library users with timely information for educational research, economic development, and recreational purposes; and (3) ensure that trained library staff are available to help the public find the information they need in an online environment. Key assessment questions were answered by the use of a range of data collection techniques including surveys of librarians and users, site visits, focus groups, interviews, and other techniques. From the viewpoint of project participants, the project was clearly successful. The list of various benefits and impacts that have come to the library, the users, and the community overall is significant and consistent across most libraries. The study concludes with a discussion of key issues raised by the Online at PA Libraries project and lessons that have been learned from this effort that can be incorporated into future efforts. Specific recommendations include building on the project with future projects, developing new roles for Pennsylvania libraries and librarians, and developing a statewide strategic planning effort to continue to take advantage of the evolving global networked environment for the benefit of Pennsylvania residents. The user questionnaire is appended. (Author/AEF)
Descriptors: Access to Information, Case Studies, Computer Networks, Data Collection, Educational Research, Evaluation, Information Networks, Internet, Library Planning, Library Services, Online Systems, Program Development, Public Libraries, Questionnaires, Reference Materials, Strategic Planning, User Needs (Information)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Schuylkill Intermediate Unit #29, Mar Lin, PA.; Pennsylvania State Library, Harrisburg.
Authoring Institution: Syracuse Univ., NY. School of Information Studies.
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania