In a message dated 12/13/2006 12:48:01 PM Eastern Standard Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:
For me, the best evidence of this can be found in the digitization
initiatives of google. Does anyone remember Project Gutenberg?They have about 20,000
volumes so far. Obviously business can afford to do more, but libraries could
have been donating a portion of their funds to Project Gutenberg for the last
25+ years and, well...maybe there wouldn't have been an opportunity for google.
I've used PG http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page extensively in the past
and still download .txt files occasionally to feed into my text-to-speech
They are getting bogged down in technology, providing texts in several
formats, converting them to audio, adding audio and video content, and trying to
present this in a complex data access hierarchy.
This may be limiting access, I thought there used to be more than 20,000
texts at the site. According to a press releases
May 4, 2006: 1/3 Million eBooks Free from July 4 Through August 4. Press
release: 1/3 of a million books, or 10 times the number found in the average
public library, will be available for free downloading via the Internet and World
Wide Web beginning July 4, as Project Gutenberg and the World eBook Library act
on their dreams of increased world literacy and education.
October 1, 2006: Another month of the WorldEBookFair. During October 2006,
about 1/2 million free eBooks are available. Sponsored by the World eBook
Library, Project Gutenberg, and others.
If these were in plain text ASCII format only, you could have them all on a
hard drive on your shelf. However as library content evolved to include books
with high resolution colored images on every page, then audio and now video
content, the concept of an online library becomes more complex, adding to the
copyright and user formats.
Imagine maintaining online library access to the shelves of video games and
HD movies at your video store.