IRIS 42: Information and Research Instruction Suite for two-year colleges

Who pays for it all?

information is not free

Running a good library requires funding, but the cost of not having information is much greater. Democracies require a free flow of information so that citizens can stay informed about their government and about the issues they care about.

Anyone with access to the Internet can get lots of information without paying for it, but people rely on libraries to access the Internet, because they do not have Internet access at home. Further, the majority of books, magazines, and media are not freely available online. Some magazines and journals offer online articles, but very often readers have to pay to read current or complete articles. Few books are free online because publishers still rely on book sales.

Libraries provide access to the Internet and they buy books, articles, music, films, and databases so that their users (whether they are students, community members, or employees) won't have to buy things on their own. In academic libraries, tuition and sometimes state funding support library services. Public libraries are typically funded through local taxes, such as property or sales tax. Special libraries typicallly get their funding from the agencies they serve.


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updated: 23/6/09