America’s 17,000-plus public libraries offer free computer and Internet access – a service more than 77 million people took advantage of in 2009, according to March 2010 study by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The primary reasons people used the Internet at their local public library: to find employment or further their education.

To boost the employability of their patrons, public libraries also offer free courses to help adults with low skills improve their reading, math, and digital literacy skills.

The U.S. Department of Education hopes to enhance this work by partnering with public libraries to get information about adult education programs and partnerships to those who need it most.

“Libraries and adult education programs are natural partners,” Johan Uvin, acting assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education said in a statement released today.  “Their joint goal is to enhance skills, employability, and the quality of life for all Americans, and especially for those youth and adults with low skills.”

Learn more about the joint effort between the Department of Education and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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