"The Internet Public Library, which began as a University of Michigan (UM) School of Information project in 1995 yet now has a global audience, is facing a money crunch. Its private and foundation funding has run out, and it currently survives on a base budget of more than $150,000 from UM. "The question of how to fund public goods on the Internet is a very difficult one," said Maurita Holland, associate professor and assistant to the dean and director of academic outreach at the school."
"The IPL--the first Google result when you search on "public library"--gets 12 million hits a month, one quarter from outside the United States and one-half of them from students working on reports. It gets about 1000 e-mail reference questions a month and answers about 80 percent of them. It contains an annotated directory of about 40,000 web sites, plus 22,000 e-texts. It relies on student labor as well as several hundred volunteers." (from Library Journal)