A yellowing copy of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” has a much longer life span than the computer used to look up its location in the library.
For decades, American libraries served as a hub of timeless classics and new releases. But as technology has developed, so has the library's role.
Books still dominate the shelves in libraries throughout the country, but patrons are seeking more than stories. In rural communities, 70.3 percent of libraries reported they are the only place that provides free Internet and computer access to their residents, according to a 2012 report from the Information Policy and Access Center at the University of Maryland, College Park.