Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

All libraries digitized?

The New York Times reports that Google is adding major libraries to its database. Stanford’s head librarian says this: "Within two decades, most of the world’s knowledge will be digitized and available, one hopes for free reading on the Internet, just as there is free reading in libraries today." There are some things I find difficult to wrap my hands around, and this is one of them. Amazing, no? Read the whole thing.

Discussions - 2 Comments

I am a law librarian and I must dispute the Stanford Head Librarian’s predicition. He is wrong. In two decade, a sizable amount will be digitized but the bulk of materials will not be digitized. In addition, it won’t be freely available because it costs money to digitize things.

Regardless of all the bad research habits of high school and college students, we are still a book culture.

I agree with PCHUCK. There’s just too much information to ingest it all, some it if technically difficult, and some of it just not business worthy. It also must be managed, stored, and able to move from point A to point B without bottlenecks, filtered, and stored elsewhere. Most of all, it must be profitable to implement this model. Still, there will be a tremendous amount of information that will be available in data form.

I think the NYT article may be thinking that all "relevent" data (data they can relate to) will be available. And it’s interesting to see the author’s analogy to today’s libraries. There’s a world of difference between printing books, storing them on shelves, and relying on human work to move them, read them, send them, and such. It’s quite different to install a network and ingest it and makes it available in demand anywhere the consumer is using hi-tech devices (many of which will be competing with different programs and op systems). And it’s also telling that he believes libraries are free. Sure, the reading is free, but last I saw, the buildings were built and staffed with taxed dollars. We all pay for it, and that’s OK. But it ain’t free. It is typical though of the NYT to belive such.

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