On Wed, 31 Mar 2004, Don Cox wrote:

> However, I suspect the RIAA are against anybody being able to hear any
> music without paying for it, even if it were shown that downloading
> greatly increased sales. Some people feel that nothing should ever be
> free - they would commercialise the Library of Congress if they could.

As I look at some of the changes being made at our institution...I don't
see how libraries have remained open to the public all these years,
especially in these last few years.

I am reminded of an article I read some twenty years ago. The title was,
"The End of Libraries." My recollection was that the author made a case
for the notion that information would become too valuable and that
librarians are not trained in the ways of commerce.

I am sure that those of us involved in audio preservation are well aware,
there are not adequate funds to preserve even a small portion of what is
crumbling, yet, that information is not of enough "value" to generate the
support it needs for its preservation. Maybe some of it will
be sought out, but probably only after it is gone.

I cannot help but wonder if libraries make aa mistake by giving away
information, as I would suspect, that most people take that which is free,
for granted, and don't value it unless it is taken away, or costs them money.
Happily there are those that have placed great value on both providing
that "free" access and having that "free" access. It seems that
our libraries now are the internet, and our libraries are archives.  Yet
even on the internet, getting to much of the most valued information, costs
money. It just seems to me, that the way libraries operate...I think of
how google can catalog the internet, and how much it costs a library to
acquire, catalog a book, put it on the shelf and circulate it. Libraries
would seem to priced out of the marketplace.

Karl (at this point, not feeling particularly optimistic about the
long term prognosis for libraries)