According to a 2011 American Library Association survey, 64.5 percent of libraries report that they are the only provider of free public Internet in their communities. The Arizona Public Access Computers (AzPAC) project, run by the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records division, targets this need by deploying more than 1,000 new computers in 84 libraries across the state. These computers will increase access to e-resources and enable the libraries to provide training in digital literacy and technology skills.
AzPAC provides Arizona’s libraries with the equipment to reach an estimated 450,000 previously underserved citizens, many of whom do not have access to the Internet at home or work. In certain areas of Arizona, such as Yuma County, large populations of seniors rely on public libraries for access to computers and the Internet. In addition, three tribal libraries are participating in the program.
As of June 2011, the Arizona State Library purchased around 950 computers and installed more than 500. Local members of the community use these computers for a variety of tasks, including completing online courses and filing for healthcare benefits. In addition, many patrons build resumes, complete job applications, and search for jobs using the free Internet access. AzPAC hopes that facilitating job-search training and holding resume drafting courses will stimulate employment and economic growth in the state.
Last Updated: December 23, 2011