Brining the World of Internet to Patrons, Including Our Most Rural Missourians
In collaboration with other publicly funded agencies, the Remote Electronic Access for Libraries (REAL) Program strives to connect public libraries with each other and with schools and universities through the Internet to ensure that public libraries are the center of excellence for information service to their communities.
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Any tax-supported public library is eligible to participate in the General Assembly-funded portions of the REAL Program. A tax-supported library is any library that is funded in whole or in part through either dedicated tax revenue, as in a property tax-supported library district, or the general revenue of a political subdivision of the state, as in a municipal library supported from the general revenue of the city.
Today, the REAL Program supports 116 of Missouri’s estimated 145 public library systems. Of the 145, 120 have fewer than 25 employees and 101 have fewer than 10 employees. Over 100 libraries have service areas of less than 20,000 persons. The 15 largest libraries in the state account for 82 percent of total library revenue.
REAL Program Goals
- Extend the “information superhighway” to the local community level in Missouri by providing routine access to public service, civic projects, community information and reference services.
- Provide a basis for interagency collaboration by laying the groundwork for wide-area networking of public libraries throughout Missouri.
- Enhance resource sharing by delivering a wide range of information services to libraries that could not otherwise individually afford them.
REAL Program Goals
- Train the Missouri library community in search tools, procedures and access points for providing high quality services through automation.
- Through their public libraries, all Missouri citizens have the opportunity to share in the National Information Infrastructure. No citizens of Missouri will be left out of the information explosion because they lack the financial resources to provide their own computers and connectivity.
- Research and document project activities so that we can support successes and overcome limitations in the application of statewide connectivity and ensure that future funding and use follows a technically sound and fiscally responsible path.