The most fundamental reason to love public libraries is because they are absolutely essential to a democracy. They are foundational. They support literacy where literacy might otherwise not be possible. A new report cited by Five-Thirty-Eight bloggers this morning:

“Nearly 3 million students in the U.S. struggle to overcome the so-called homework gap — a difficulty presented by the absence of internet in the home as a result of its cost or availability — according to an Associated Press analysis of census data. Seventeen percent of students do not have access to a computer at home and 18 percent do not have access to broadband internet.”

Even in the Hill Country a lot of people cannot get broadband internet because of the terrain, I suppose, and the spotty nature of some so many providers. That’s why we have hot spots to loan out to patrons and also why we have a bank of computers that are available to patrons free of charge.