From the Press of Atlantic City:
The Atlantic City Free Public Library doesn’t open its doors until 9:30 a.m., but there’s almost always a group of people waiting at the entrance at least 15 minutes before opening.
Most days, nearly all the library’s 43 computers are in use five minutes after the doors are unlocked. And by 9:40 a.m., most of the library’s tables are occupied by someone with a laptop, a newspaper or even an exam study guide borrowed from the stacks.
Between January and October 2010 and the same period this year, the number of patrons requesting some type of job-related assistance, such as help with applications, resumes and writing cover letters, increased by 100 percent, show statistics provided by the library.
As technology has evolved, so too has the library. Instead of acting more as a depository, libraries today are playing a variety of roles, including hands-on teaching, job-search assistance and even as satellite college campuses where patrons use library computers for online classes and librarians proctor exams, said Regina Bell, reference librarian with the Mays Landing branch of the Atlantic County Library.
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