At 06:39 PM 4/6/2004 -0500, Karl Miller wrote:

>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.

Permit me to make one and repeat one of my favorite themes.

1. (Repeat): As a general rule, it takes more than 90% of the effort to
squeeze the last 10% out of the recovery/restoration process. Given the
realities of budgets and the monotonically decreasing but still
overwhelming stock of source material of any class, is it really preferable
to save one unit of that material at 100% rather than ten at 90%?

2. Librarians have many functions. Some of them are no doubt decreasing,
but others such as cataloguing are increasing. As the mass of information
grows, the need for effective indexing and cross-indexing grows - and those
operations are required whether the data are in physical or digital form.

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