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The Baltimore Sun reports on a new initiative in that city called the Virtual Supermarket Project, in which “residents of two Baltimore neighborhoods that lack supermarkets will soon be able to order their groceries through a free delivery system that operates with the click of a mouse from the library.”

The goal is to give people living in so-called “food deserts” access to healthier and more nutritious products. Not only can the residents order from computer libraries, but they also can pick up the groceries at the library.
KC's View:
This is interesting on a number of fronts. It allows retailers in reach into neighborhoods in which they ordinarily might be a little reluctant to build stores. And it gives residents of such neighborhoods even greater options, which is a major part of the anti-obesity initiative being driven by First Lady Michelle Obama.

This may seem less important, but I think it also is good for libraries. In an age when most of us can access as much information from our computers, laptops and smart phones as we can from the library, it is critical that libraries find new ways to be relevant to their neighborhoods, and not be reliant on what may be an obsolete business model. If that means offering different kinds of services - like grocery ordering and delivery - that’s not necessarily a bad thing.