Education: Get Me a Ladder at The Library

Books are still king, but now there is so much more

When Chicago's new public library is completed in 1991, it will include a telecommunications hookup with all 86 branches, as well as a satellite downlink to draw programming from worldwide networks. Atlanta's public-library system operates its own channel on cable television, broadcasting literacy classes and interviews with authors. In Colorado more than 14,000 commuters a year find rides through a computerized information system run by the Pikes Peak Library District. And in Oregon the Salem Public Library lends audiovisual equipment and even personal computers. Welcome to the library of today.

Although books are still the chief business of libraries, these once...