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Opinion

Libraries struggle to provide equal access to digital resources

By Pilar Martinez       

Ensuring that all Canadians benefit from the proliferation of digital resources is key to creating equality of opportunity. Yet restrictions on public library use of digital publications drive unequal access to digitized information and ideas.

Governments need to be aware of the digital divide that multinational publishers are creating by restricting public library access to digital publications, writes Pilar Martinez, chair of the Canadian Urban Libraries Council. Photograph by Susan Yin courtesy of Unsplash

Despite the digitization of work and socializing in the 21st century, public libraries continue to be essential to communities for gathering, learning, working, and entertainment. In 2017, Canada’s 25 largest municipal library systems were visited 82 million times, with users borrowing more than 142 million books and other resources.

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