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----- Original Message ----- 
From: <[log in to unmask]>
> In a message dated 3/23/2006 6:06:00 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> [log in to unmask] writes:
> Point is, no place but the Bedford Hills library is going to have that
info.
> ***********************
>
> It should and needs to be on the Bedford Hills Library web site, or that
of
> the Bedford Hills Historical Society.
>
> The Internet is very new yet there are remarkably detailed web sites for
many
> museums, libraries, chambers of commerce and historical associations.  In
> time, it will be online or will cease to exist.
>
> The small, very specialized, museum I volunteer at is very conservative
and
> those of us who are somewhat computer literate are meeting resistance to
> putting any of the collections online. Furthermore there is no money or
expertise
> for extensive environmental storage and restoration. Therefore records,
> especially audio and video, are deteriorating, while they remain unseen
and untouched
> by human hands.
>
> Unless this material is put online, where it can be accessed, copied, and
> preserved in some way by the one person in a million who has some interest
in it,
> it will disappear from the historical record in a decade or so. Only one
in a
> hundred million is likely to make a cross continent trip to use the
material
> in that time. (This reflects the current use of the facility by the 300+
> million people on this continent.)
>
> Everyone involved in the preservation of history needs to make use of this
> incredible resource that is developing and make sure it isn't handicapped
by
> technical and rights issues.
>
This raises two problems...one current, and one future!

First...at the present time, only a very small percentage of the population
of North America have, or have access to:

1) A home computer (reasonably up-to-date)
2) An adequate Internet connection to allow access to/download of
   files of anything larger than tens of kilobytes
3) Adequate computer literacy to use the Internet for anything past
   exchanging a few e-mails or ordinary word processing

Obviously, this situation will change as time goes by...but that
leads us to the second problem...

Imagine the internet with virtually every bit of the currently-
published information accessible through a near-infinite number
of websites...and now imagine trying to find one specific piece
of that information! I often type items into Google, and am
rewarded with up to 50 million "hits!" That translates as five
million pages of Google links to read...and I seldom get past
the first twenty or thirty of those! Further, the accuracy of
the suggested links relies upon the sites having the exact
words I entered in my search (no other terms, no typos, usw.)!

As it stands, I can use a card catalog...or a digital version
thereof...and find the reference number for books containing
the information I need. Not only that, finding those books
means I will find others shelved in their vicinity which may
be the ones I am looking for.

I won't even get into the improvements in Internet technology
that may be needed for this future of "infinite information"...

Steven C. Barr