Last year, we graphed wireless Internet data as libraries entered their 2014 annual reports. That early look closely resembled the final data, so we're peeking at report data-in-progress again this year.
So far, 95 libraries have reported both uses of wireless Internet access and uses of public Internet-connected computers for 2013, 2014, and 2015. At those libraries, 2015 wi-fi uses were 71% more than uses of Internet computers. By comparison, those same libraries saw 2014 wi-fi uses that were 16% more than uses of their Internet computers.
The 95 libraries are located in 12 of the state's 17 regional library systems. The resident population of the libraries' municipality ranges from a few hundred to nearly 100,000 in rural, town, suburb, and city locales.
Although PCs are not likely to disappear from Wisconsin public libraries, uses of Internet computers continued to decrease at roughly the same rate in 2015 as 2014 and 2013.
Jamie McCanless, Public Library Development Team