Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18

Thread: The Libraries of the Future Will Contain Fewer Books

  1. #1
    Funding Member
    "Friend of Germanics"
    Skadi Funding Member


    Join Date
    May 2004
    Last Online
    @
    Ethnicity
    Flemish
    Country
    Flanders Flanders
    Gender
    Posts
    5,485
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    26
    Thanked in
    23 Posts

    The Libraries of the Future Will Contain Fewer Books

    Turning books into bits
    Libraries face the digital future
    By Michael Rogers
    Columnist
    Special to MSNBC
    Updated: 8:46 a.m. ET June 21, 2005

    Several years ago journalist John Lenger told a remarkable story in the Columbia Journalism Review about teaching a journalism class at Harvard’s extension school. He asked his young students to write a story about a Harvard land deal that occurred in 1732, but after a week of research, most came back with almost nothing substantial to report. The problem: They had done most of their research using the Internet, walking right past Harvard’s library and archives, where the actual information could be found. When Lenger questioned their research methods, one student replied that she assumed that anything that was important in the world was already on the Internet.


    When I told that story recently to Brewster Kahle, the founder of the San Francisco non-profit Internet Archive , he shook his head: “When we were growing up,” he said, “we had great libraries. But for kids today, the Internet is their library. We are giving them an instantly accessible resource that is much worse than what we grew up with.” But Kahle, along with Google , Amazon and a clutch of prestigious libraries worldwide are all working to change that: digitizing thousands of books every day, building a global library where every manner of content lives online.


    Turning books into bits, however, is not easy: each page must be scanned individually. Until recently, that was a slow and labor-intensive process — often outsourced to countries like the Philippines or India. Now, however, several companies are producing book-scanning robots. One Swiss model, now in use at Stanford, can scan more than 1,000 pages an hour, turning the pages with delicate puffs of air; it costs, however, north of a half million dollars. An American version, from Kirtas Technologies, is less costly at $100,000 to $150,000; the Rochester Public Library in New York recently became its first customer. And at the Internet Archive in San Francisco, Kahle and company are bolting together an even cheaper scanning system — dubbed “Scribes” — that will travel to libraries around the country. Even with all this technology, however, the digitizing will take years and enormous amounts of money. Stanford recently pegged the cost of digitizing its 8 million volume library at a quarter of a billion dollars.


    Some might consider turning real books into ephemeral data a step backward in terms of preserving the world’s knowledge, but in fact it’s just the opposite: Physical libraries aren’t necessarily dependable repositories of information. That starts with the great Library of Alexandria, founded around the third century BC. The library was said to include hundreds of thousands of scrolls — even Aristotle’s personal collection — but it was destroyed sometime early in the first millennium of the common era, wiping away forever most of humankind’s first writings. It was no accident that when Egypt opened a new Library of Alexandria in 2003, the institution promptly dedicated itself to digitizing 15,000 Arabic books annually, as well as participating in the Carnegie Mellon Million Books digitization project that will share digital collections worldwide. “Governments burn libraries,” says Kahle, “societies go up and down, Iron Curtains go up and down. Having copies in multiple places is the best way to preserve knowledge.”


    The copyright challenge
    But making copies can also be a problem. One big hurdle for the universal Internet library is copyright. A physical copy of a book can’t be checked out by more than one person at a time — but unless there are controls in place, dozens of people could read a digital copy at the same time. That’s a problem for publishers and authors who make their living by selling books — and U.S. libraries alone buy enormous quantities of books each year. As a result, a coalition of academic publishers recently protested Google’s current library digitization project, seeking reassurance that Google’s digital copies won’t someday be used to replace demand for the physical copies.

    Kahle and the Internet Archive are confronting another copyright issue in the United States. For many years, the government required authors to renew their copyrights in order to keep their books from moving into the public domain. Over the past twenty years, however, Congress has significantly lengthened the period that books remain under copyright — and more importantly, those books now remain in copyright without any further action by the author. As a result, there are hundreds of thousands of “orphan books,” still in copyright but whose authors may have died or lost interest in their creations. In earlier years, those books would have moved into the public domain, but now they technically remain under copyright — meaning that libraries and universities are very cautious about making digital copies as they may find themselves sued for infringement. Kahle is currently pursuing a court challenge to clarify the question of digitizing such orphan books. “Much of the 20th century’s media is locked up,” he says. “Very little is being exploited because of the copyright explosion.”


    When Kahle’s vision comes true and books are accessible from any browser, exactly where will the neighborhood library fit in? That’s a key topic at this week’s 124th annual American Library Association conference in Chicago. At the moment, libraries are doing a thriving business: Between 1992 and 2002, library visits more than doubled, and the number of items checked out increased about 30 percent. Librarians, however, acknowledge that the increase in visits was in part due to the availability of Internet access — begging the question of what happens when, someday, everyone has Internet access at home.


    Changing role of librarians
    Most librarians foresee a different, but still essential, role. “Library spaces are changing,” says Carol Brey-Casiano, the current president of the ALA. “Card catalogs are going away, computers are coming in. But libraries still offer trained research professionals — there’s a real danger in going straight to Google.” Brey-Casiano adds that nearly 50 percent of the questions her own public library in El Paso receives “are about Internet research: how to narrow their search, whether a resource is reliable.”

    Libraries, in short, are already evolving into community digital research centers, staffed with professional guides to the vast quantities of text, audio, video and images available online, and equipped with the latest digital playback devices, from video screens to printers to audio systems. In the long run they will, almost inevitably, house fewer physical books; Helsinki, for example, has a new, nearly bookless branch focused on technology and multimedia. And when students return this fall to the University of Texas in Austin, they will find that nearly all of the undergraduate library’s 90,000 volumes have been sent elsewhere to make room for a 24-hour “information commons.”


    Many libraries now provide free access to online databases that would otherwise charge subscription fees. And increasingly, they are also offering new books — printed or audio — in digital format. The New York Public library, for example, offers both audio and e-books on a Website; users check out their choices by downloading and then each e-book remains “live” for twenty-one days. Many libraries also provide a gigantic digital card catalog that lets you search the holdings of thousands of libraries worldwide. The largest such card catalog, WorldCat, maintained by the library cooperative OCLC, lists close to a billion holdings—and is also integrated into Yahoo, so your searches there show not only relevant books but also where the nearest library copy is located.


    Indeed, keeping track of what’s out there may be the largest challenge of all. “We are going to be able to create a great deal of knowledge,” says Cathy De Rosa, vice president of library services for OCLC. “There are millions of items that exist only one place in the world—the ability to mobilize those resources is extraordinary, so your research can include the book, the map, the sound recording, the journal article, even the original manuscript. The problem is: how do we put it together?” As the technologists digitize, librarians will organize—and somewhere out in the future will finally arrive what Kahle calls “the library we owe our children.”

    MSNBC Interactive
    URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8258453/

  2. #2
    Senior Administrator "Friend of Germanics"
    Skadi Funding Member

    Aeternitas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Last Online
    @
    Ethnicity
    German
    Gender
    Family
    Married
    Politics
    Libertarian
    Religion
    Christian
    Posts
    1,566
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    44
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    385
    Thanked in
    131 Posts

    The Libraries of the Future Will Contain Fewer Books

    A new generation of librarians is shredding the idea that books form the foundation of their libraries

    As a librarian, Jens Thorhauge ought to be concerned that the number of books borrowed from the nation's libraries has fallen dramatically over the past 25 years.

    In 1983, the Library Agency, the central administrative body for the nation's public libraries, registered a record 87.9 million book loans. Since then, the number has declined steadily and in 2006 only 48.6 million books were borrowed.

    But even though he expects the number to continue to fall, Thorhauge, the head of the Library Agency, isn't worried. In fact, in his vision of the library of the future, books take up even less space. The classic library where you store as many books as possible is, in his words, 'passé'.

    'You need to put as much information as possible on the internet and make it as easy as possible to access,' he said in one of a bevy of interviews he's conducted recently. [...]
    Full article

    What's your opinion about this digitalization of libraries? Do you prefer reading books online or the "old fashioned" way? While I think putting information on the Internet is important and eases access, I don't think good old books are superfluous. I prefer to read long texts on paper because reading them online is not as easy on the eyes. It's alright for shorter texts though. I have to take more breaks for my eyes when I read e-books than when I read normal books.

  3. #3
    Funding Member
    "Friend of Germanics"
    Skadi Funding Member

    Æmeric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Last Online
    @
    Ethnicity
    Anglo-American
    Ancestry
    Britain, Ulster, Germany, America
    Subrace
    Dalofaelid+Baltid/Borreby
    Y-DNA
    R-Z19
    mtDNA
    U5a2c
    Country
    United States United States
    State
    Indiana Indiana
    Gender
    Age
    57
    Family
    Married
    Politics
    Anti-Obama
    Religion
    Conservative Protestantism
    Posts
    6,271
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    573
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    522
    Thanked in
    229 Posts
    I prefer reading "hard" books or newpapers, magazines etc... but digitalization has made more books available & provided easier access for persons with computers.

    "I prefer to read long texts on paper because reading them online is not as easy on the eyes"

    Same here. And its more comfortable to sit in my easy chair or in bed then in front of the computer.

  4. #4
    Funding Member
    "Friend of Germanics"
    Skadi Funding Member

    Gefjon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Last Online
    @
    Ethnicity
    Anglo-American
    Gender
    Age
    38
    Posts
    1,363
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    75
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    188
    Thanked in
    88 Posts
    Putting stuff online is good for folks who are too lazy/busy/far away from the library. It's comfortable to just turn on your PC and find your needed book. Besides, there are such things as printers. :p

  5. #5
    Senior Member Neophyte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Last Online
    Tuesday, October 29th, 2019 @ 11:11 PM
    Ethnicity
    Scandinavian
    Subrace
    Nordic + some Atlantid
    Country
    Sweden Sweden
    Gender
    Age
    46
    Family
    Single adult
    Politics
    Blut und Boden
    Posts
    1,935
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    50
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    43
    Thanked in
    28 Posts
    I love library digitalisation. From an academic point of view it is not the books that matter the most, but the journals. Even if my alma mater had a substantial collection of scientific journals from the past 100 years or so that collection does not even come close to what is available on-line. Also, when you find a journal article in print you must copy it manually while you can send a PDF straight to the printer or to your mailbox for future reference. And how easy it is to search for what you want... From that perspective, the ideal library is an on-line database.

    EDIT: Plus, if you want to start a new college and/or library, I imagine that finding back issues of 50 year old obscure journals and books that are out of print but still considered standard works of reference can be somewhat difficult. Linking to a database such as jstor.org is instantaneous.

  6. #6
    Funding Member
    "Friend of Germanics"
    Skadi Funding Member

    Schmetterling's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Ethnicity
    German
    Gender
    Age
    36
    Posts
    756
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    30
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    63
    Thanked in
    30 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Aeternitas View Post
    Full article

    What's your opinion about this digitalization of libraries? Do you prefer reading books online or the "old fashioned" way? While I think putting information on the Internet is important and eases access, I don't think good old books are superfluous. I prefer to read long texts on paper because reading them online is not as easy on the eyes. It's alright for shorter texts though. I have to take more breaks for my eyes when I read e-books than when I read normal books.
    I prefer reading books the old fashioned way myself. It is not only easier on the eyes, but the feeling, sometimes the smell of opening a book and turning its pages are not comparable to sitting endless hours in front of the computer screen. SOme books are very old and have their own stories to tell.

  7. #7
    Funding Member
    "Friend of Germanics"
    Skadi Funding Member

    Dagna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Last Online
    @
    Ethnicity
    Anglo-American
    Ancestry
    Northern German, Scandinavian
    Subrace
    Nordid
    Country
    Norway Norway
    Location
    Norway
    Gender
    Age
    41
    Politics
    Classic Liberalism
    Religion
    Agnosticism
    Posts
    2,097
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    19
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    76
    Thanked in
    48 Posts
    Frankly I do not believe this digitalization is brining us much good. It has been said in some studies that computer use for study causes short attention span. There are games and forums that can distract people from studying. I believe studying was better done in a library in the good old days. Probably some time in future books will not exist anymore andalmost everything will be digitalized. Welcome to the 3rd millennium.


    Die Sonne scheint noch.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Galloglaich's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Last Online
    Sunday, May 31st, 2009 @ 03:44 PM
    Ethnicity
    Scottish/Norwegian-German
    Subrace
    KN + Bruenn
    Country
    Vinland Vinland
    State
    Pennsylvania Pennsylvania
    Gender
    Politics
    Libertarian/An-Cap
    Religion
    Anthroposophical Asatru
    Posts
    328
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts
    Neophyte brings up some excellent points. From an archivist POV, digitalization is a great thing. If digitized, original collections can be kept in their states of respective provenance and last longer while still providing access to interested parties. Reorganizing digital material for a task specific function doesn't jeopardize the internal consistency (if it exists) of any original material. Cross-referrals and search tools are also much more efficient when digitized. JSTOR rocks.

    For reading, I much prefer the aesthetic of a good old book. Sitting in front of the computer tires me. I just love the feeling of a library. I like to go to them and hang out, just browsing the aisles.
    "It does not take a majority to prevail ... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men."
    — Samuel Adams

  9. #9
    Senior Member Elysium's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Last Online
    Thursday, October 8th, 2009 @ 12:09 PM
    Gender
    Age
    27
    Posts
    447
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts
    I don't go to Libraries anyway. The range of books are far too mainstream for me.

    It's harder to read long things on computers anyway.
    Perfection.

    War is God's way of teaching Americans geography. - Ambrose Bierce

  10. #10
    Moderator "Friend of Germanics"
    Skadi Funding Member

    GroeneWolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Last Online
    @
    Ethnicity
    Dutch
    Subrace
    Don't know
    Country
    Netherlands Netherlands
    State
    Utrecht Utrecht
    Gender
    Age
    37
    Family
    Single adult
    Religion
    Germanic Heathendom
    Posts
    3,059
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    304
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    410
    Thanked in
    222 Posts
    I hardly go to liberaries anymore. But I think liberaries mostly will digitalisation is saving money and space. A few computer terminals take up less space then a dozen booksclosests.

    However reading a book is in my opion better then reading it from a screen. First transportation wise. You can read a book nearly everywhere and it takes up less space then a laptop. Also it is different sensation then reading from a computerscreen.

    A few months a study in the Netherlands has revealed that only 15% of the adults can understand childerenbooks. I think the cause for this is the reason why the number of books borrowed is dropping and not that there aren't enough books in pdf form or something like that eyes: .

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Do You Use Libraries?
    By Sindig_og_stoisk in forum Literature & Book Reviews
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: Saturday, March 16th, 2019, 08:14 PM
  2. Replies: 2
    Last Post: Saturday, November 11th, 2017, 01:44 PM
  3. Fantastic Libraries of the World
    By Magni in forum Literature & Book Reviews
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Sunday, July 17th, 2011, 05:44 PM
  4. Thought Police at American Libraries
    By friedrich braun in forum The United States
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Wednesday, February 9th, 2005, 07:15 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •