I read today that Google is attempting to create the world’s first Digital Library, which would allow everyone to access a wide range of content at no charge. Clearly, a digital library, which would solely need to scan information rather than have the actual books from which it came, would give people a broader range of accessible materials. The plan is in the works but is having trouble being implemented because of people’s different ideas on what information would be allowed, and what information would not, in a public library. The New York Times says, “Everyone who is at the table has a different idea of audience, scope, content and governance,” meaning that another issue is figuring out how to regulate and control what is essentially, a network of information, similar to the Internet. I think that the idea for a Digital Library takes the shift from analogue to digital to a new level in that it would basically be a step toward replacing the print medium all together. Google wants to allow people to use the Digital Library for free, which would further blur class/gender/racial distinctions that may hinder certain people from gaining the knowledge that others can. I think that this a good idea for the public simply because it puts more power in their hands, more power to access information and form their own knowledge base that is less restricted by social status and wealth. It is open to everyone. The Internet, in terms of information, has its limitations because some cannot afford to use it. A free digital library would have all of the information that the Internet provides, and money would not matter.
Here is the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/04/technology/04library.html?_r=1&ref=technology
What do you guys think?