It’s a short 13 years since the World Wide Web burst onto our world and it makes me wonder how we operated before then. Everything is dependent now on immediate information online.
Since returning to work in a public library I notice the change in the usage needs of our customers. The demand for the free public PC’s continues to fill our booking system every day and rarely is there a pc vacant; more often there are customers waiting in line. But the nature of that usage has also changed. People are now using these PC’s for online banking, confirming flight details, applying for jobs using online application forms, lodging their tax returns, email of course, promoting their businesses, researching medical conditions on their doctors advice, and children are using the internet to play online games as well as researching for their school projects. The public usage has become more essential and sophisticated. There is an expectation in the business world that everyone has an internet PC at home, when this is clearly not the case. How quickly we all adopt and adapt to advances in technology.
As the online information is displayed more and more in multimedia formats, our public PC’s need to respond to this trend and provide basic software for this; basic image editing software and image display software such as flash, Java, and Media Player.