In 1978, Antony Smith argued that it was social questions about information and its distribution that were likely to pose problems. These he said would be far more intractable than the primary technological invention of the new devices themselves. The truth of that prediction is to be seen today when so much of the information world is an essentially commercial environment. In the United Kingdom, the people's Network initiative has shown that the public library can also be instrumental in helping the general public to understand and use the new technologies. An American expert on learning fears that, 'the growing popularity of the World Wide Web is slowly but surely transforming the lives of human beings who are beginning to make the sad transition from being thinkers to becoming clickers. In considering the purpose of the public library, professionals should think less about its information role and rediscover the historic strengths and values of the service.