Much Loved, Now Much Used

Much Loved, Now Much Used From Princeton in New Jersey to West Hartford in Connecticut, libraries are starting to look more like Internet cafes and bookstores and less like quiet rows of book-lined shelves.

Librarians say the changes reflect the impact of technology and communities’ increased need for places to meet. The ease of using Google or ordering a book on the Web has pushed libraries to re-evaluate their purpose and listen to users, who say they want a place not just to read and look up information, but also a place to relax, socialize and even telecommute.