When I was young, public libraries played a huge role in my education. Schools had tiny libraries, barely usable and overwhelmed by numbers of users. We just could not afford to buy a ton of books beyond a few door-to-door encyclopedia, magazines and newspapers. The nearest public libraries were great places to borrow the books we needed and to do serious research. Now, in the Internet Age, libraries must change.
Carolyn Fox: “Public libraries (and public schools) have a critical role to play with improving the dearth of diversity in coding and open source.”
Internet access are today’s books, mail and messaging. It’s time libraries did more than lip-service. If businesses won’t serve the needs of the people, governments and charities should. Any community without widely available and affordable wireless access should at least provide good access in schools and libraries with no quotas. That takes money for hardware and service but they’re not spending as much on dead trees, so…
I suggest schools and libraries use recycled PCs running GNU/Linux. That will cost them little for hardware and software. I did just that for years when I was a teacher and my schools had the most wonderful resources at minimal cost: databases, search engines, filing systems, collaboration suites and all kinds of education utilities just for the cost of downloading. By keeping resources on local servers, our Internet connection did not bog down.