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Slide 3 of 16

In spite of talk of the Network Computer with its promised price in the $500 range, the cost for entry onto the information highway is still quite high. Even the $20 a month price tag on the Internet account is more than many can afford. Remember that in spite of special lifeline rates for low income households, only 93% of our population has telephone service. About 60% of households get cable. Internet access will remain beyond the reach of some part of our population.

Also note that the current Internet population is far from being representative of our population as a whole. The Internet "norm" is a white male around 35 years of age with a college degree and an income of over $50,000 a year.

There is no entry fee for use of the public library. No special equipment is needed. In many communities, if you can't get to the library, it can come to you in the form of a book-mobile or even at-home service. Libraries can accommodate people with special needs by providing large print books or Kurzweil readers, things that those members of the public could not themselves afford.