The provision of public access to the Internet in UK public libraries is a service that has been gradually introduced by many public library authorities throughout the UK. There remain, however, authorities where the service has either not been implemented or is available only in a few major branches. This paper examines the issues surrounding the provision of public access in public libraries and draws on research conducted in the UK and in the USA. Reference is made to data obtained from a survey conducted at Loughborough Public Library which seeks to understand how the public use an Internet service, and what they require of this service. The conclusion is that library authorities need to plan further ahead than just providing a basic access point to the Internet, and that they need to be thinking of how to develop the service, if libraries are to recoup the not inconsiderable investment required in setting up a service of this kind.
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