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Public Information and Communication

February 23, 1999

Mary Jo Ryan

Library Commission Helps Small Libraries Get Computers

The Nebraska Library Commission, in partnership with the Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (OCLC), is making six public access computers available to Nebraska public libraries. These computers make it possible for small public libraries to provide access to the wealth of information on the Internet for local citizens. State funding through the Library Commission provides unlimited public access to OCLC's FirstSearch online databases, including full-text articles from hundreds of journals and periodicals for all Nebraska public libraries, school media centers, and college libraries. The six Nebraska public libraries that can now offer these services to their customers are Arlington Public Library, Hooper Public Library, Louisville Public Library, Osceola Public Library, Oshkosh Public Library, and Yutan Public Library.

The Library Commission negotiates for favorable pricing when purchasing commercial information resources for the entire state, helping local libraries to provide information services that many communities would not be able to afford on their own. Libraries are able to add rich databases to their core of information services, customizing their offerings to their library customers.

The wealth of information available online can best be seen in these everyday examples: A reporter was able to do quick background research prior to interviewing an individual, accessing information about a speech the individual had given at a recent conference. A public librarian helped a local business person find and interlibrary loan a directory of prospective customers, resulting in new sales and helping to build the local economy. A local librarian helped a local service organization successfully compete for grant funding by connecting them with census information made available by government agencies. A school librarian opened up a whole new world to a high school student by showing her how to quickly access education journal articles and reports to help with a research paper.


As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, bringing together people and information. The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission Home Page. Point your World Wide Web browser to

For more information, contact Tessa Terry.