From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad
Marcos Suerio wrote (parts extracted)
> while I applaud the idea of digitising materials and making them available on
> the web, it cannot be a library's primary function. Such a position I find
> between naive and arrogant, assuming that computers, or something that can
> read computer files, will be around forever.
----- irrespective of this, the availability in digital form is presently
used as an excuse for mass purging of paper content in libraries
One thing we know for sure: Libraries have been around for hundreds and
> hundreds of years, they seem to work, and have changed the course of
> knowledge's history several times, by revealing previous knowledge that was
> not popular at the time, but that some inquisitive soul picked up
----- nobody in power has really been happy with the masses' access to
knowledge, and the moment money talks (i.e. the libraries need a lot of money
for expensive inner-city premises, staff, and repairs of the materials),
cheap fixes will be sought - and found. One fix is "oh, has nobody requested
this for 25 years; well, then obviously nobody needs it".
> ..................................I love to see people of all creeds,
> colours, and ages ................................ Engaging in one of the
> most wonderful of human endeavours: the sharing of knowledge. For free.
----- you are right, we shall have a period of about 150 years of human
enlightenment for the masses. There are about 20 left.
> There is only so much digitising one can do. Only the "useful" stuff will be
> put up on the web. What you end up is with a generic MacLibrary of knowledge,
> Google or not.
----- nevertheless, there is so much stuff that you can only obtain by inter-
library loans, stuff that used to be quite widespread. I know, because I have
given up and I buy the originals from the web, which is teeming with de-
accessioned materials, materials that were once available to the general
public and which is now only available to me (and those who read what I
write, based on this material).
I think the situation is desperate.