“Who has the most scientific knowledge of large-scale organization, collection, and access to information? Librarians,”
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sun, 04/25/2010 - 22:42.
For a humorous take on a previous transition—the shift from scrolls to books— watch this clip from Norwegian television NRK (with English subtitles)
realNEO is popular with librarians, and our members are certainly data intellectuals, so I expect an extensive treatment of the future of libraries - Gutenberg 2.0 - in the May/June Harvard Magazine will be of great interest here.
The insightful feature begins:
“Throw it in the charles,” one scientist recently suggested as a fitting end for Widener Library’s collection. The remark was outrageous—especially at an institution whose very name honors a gift of books—but it was pointed. Increasingly, in the scientific disciplines, information ranging from online journals to databases must be recent to be relevant, so Widener’s collection of books, its miles of stacks, can appear museum-like. Likewise, Google’s massive project to digitize all the books in the world will, by some accounts, cause research libraries to fade to irrelevance as mere warehouses for printed material. The skills that librarians have traditionally possessed seem devalued by the power of online search, and less sexy than a Google query launched from a mobile platform. “People want information ‘anytime, anyplace, anywhere,’” says Helen Shenton, the former head of collection care for the British Library who is now deputy director of the Harvard University Library. Users are changing—but so, too, are libraries. The future is clearly digital.
I'm going to go read James Joyce's Ulysses on my Nexus One for free...
It is included on an interesting list of "banned books" at Google Books...
Catch-22. A Farewell to Arms. Of Mice and Men. Hailed as literary classics, it's hard to believe that there are hundreds of attempts each year to remove these and other great books from schools and libraries. In fact, according to the American Library Association, 42 of 100 books recognized by the Radcliffe Publishing Course as the best novels of the 20th century have been challenged or banned.
Google Books is our effort to expand the universe of books you can discover, and we're proud to join libraries and bookstores across the country in celebrating Banned Books Week – a nationwide initiative to help people learn about and explore banned books. You can start by browsing the 42 classics below.