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The Poor Will Always Be With Us

It’s All Good is usually brimming with edgy but interesting ideas I nearly always agree with, so I was surprised to read yesterday that Alane had strapped on a flight suit, jumped on the deck of The Good Ship LibraryLand, and declared, “Digital Divide: Mission Accomplished!”

Earth to Alane: not so fast, not so fast. The reality, down here among the hoi polloi, is that the Digital Divide is a real problem, and another reality is that libraries work hard to help real people with the very real problems of computer access. Not only that, but libraries are always underfunded and underequipped. If you don’t believe me, just ask John Bertot at FSU, whose 2005 study of public libraries and the Internet (underwritten by the Gates Foundation) makes all these points and then some, with whipped cream and a cherry on top.

I was just getting warmed up on this post when I saw George, at IAL, had pretty much “posted for me,” to use early netspeak. I’ll return to the guns of August (as I think of this month, with vendors and contracts and databases, oh my), with this last thought: collaborative blogs offer a depth, or faceting, of perspective you just can’t get from one voice.

Now, George and Alane, you two stop fussin’ at each other and go get some ice cream!

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