One of the towns I visited on my (now-complete) AT thru-hike was the small tourist town of Lincoln, NH. While in Lincoln I visited the library to do my usual chores; checking email, reading up on the town, writing letters, etc. and was astounded to find that a fee of $2.00 per half hour was charged for non-residents and seasonal workers to use the library computers. I do not believe this is an acceptable way for libraries to raise money (or even recuperate their internet / maintenance bills) for reasons which I outlined in the following letter to the Lincoln city council:
After returning from the trail, I received a letter from the Lincoln Public Library informing me that they had reviewed their policies and agreed to cease charging for computer use at the library. I’m very happy with their decision; the mission of a library is to provide access to information, and that mission is now being embrased more fully by the city of Lincoln. Their letter follows:
Needless to say, I will be writing a letter of thanks as soon as may be. Hopefully other travellers (particularly those on the AT) will benefit from this policy change.