Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Do libraries still matter?

Here are a couple of snippets from a very interesting White Paper I came across called, "Do Libraries Still Matter?" Check out these snippets...
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The library’s information provider crown is slipping. Justifiably or not, today libraries are increasingly viewed as outdated, with modern, Internet-based services, such as Amazon and Google, looking set to inherit the throne. Even so, at Talis, we believe that there is plenty of life left in the library yet. This survival demands change though. Inevitably, as the world advances, the library must also evolve and begin to deliver its services in the ways that its modern users expect. Library 2.0 is a concept of a very different library service that operates according to the expectations of today’s library users. In this vision, the library makes information available wherever and whenever the user requires it.

...snip-snip...

Library 2.0 is about working with partners and suppliers to increase the availability of information, challenging presumptions about the restrictions currently placed upon use and reuse. A big question for libraries should be why there isn’t a single global (and free) library catalogue, not as an end in itself, but as a basis for a host of improved or totally new service offerings? There is a plethora of local, regional, national and even international systems run on a variety of different platforms. This is a huge cost in duplication, and none of them are sufficiently ubiquitous to offer any meaningful service to a population of end users. Yet, using the kind of scalable distributed technology that Google, Amazon and others deploy, we could create a genuine world catalogue with many views; local, regional, national, linguistic. Libraries should be at the heart of the “democratisation of information” - helping to bring down the walls that surround it and enabling greater participation. A major step forward, and a foundation upon which to build, is to bring down the walls around our own systems and our own information.

READ: http://www.talis.com/downloads/white_papers/DoLibrariesMatter.pdf

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