Quote of the day: “If you have any concept of a free and equal society, then libraries are still an integral part of that.”
This posting at Metafilter neatly sums up the problems of access that poor or other marginalized populations have with regard to moving job applications, social service applications, and other services to online forms and talks a bit about the problems the author of the comment sees ahead for public libraries.
Online applications are a great way to save institutions money, to organize data, to speed processing. For a person who has used a personal computer her entire life, living in a household with broadband access and one computer per member of the household, online applications simplify everything. For people without reliable internet connections, who don’t own a personal computer or share a single personal computer with an entire household, or who have never used a computer at school or at work, online applications are a significant barrier to services.