Where Do We Go From Here? The Next Decade for Digital Libraries

July 20, 2005

The field of digital libraries has always been poorly-defined, a “discipline” of amorphous borders and crossroads, but also of atavistic resonance and unreasonable inspiration. “Digital libraries”: this oxymoronic phrase has attracted dreamers and engineers, visionaries and entrepreneurs, a diversity of social scientists, lawyers, scientists and technicians. And even, ironically, librarians – though some would argue that digital libraries have very little to do with libraries as institutions or the practice of librarianship. Others would argue that the issue of the future of libraries as social, cultural and community institutions, along with related questions about the character and treatment of what we have come to call “intellectual property” in our society, form perhaps the most central of the core questions within the discipline of digital libraries – and that these questions are too important to be left to librarians, who should be seen as nothing more than one group among a broad array of stakeholders.

Read the Full Story