Posted by: bluesyemre | July 30, 2015

There’s a library-shaped hole in the Internet by David Weinberger


IF YOU WANT to know anything about movies, the Internet’s got you covered. Likewise for details about the world’s roadways, song lyrics, or Pokemon characters. But if you want to know about books and the other items of culture we’ve entrusted to libraries, it’s much harder to find out. We’re not even sure what to link to when posting about a book. In short, there’s a library-shaped hole in the Internet.

This is not just an inconvenience. As they say, if it’s not on the Internet, it doesn’t exist. But it would be tragic if library culture were to fade into irrelevancy. Take the magnificent Boston Public Library. It may have temporarily misplaced some valuable artworks, but it can generally lay its hands on any of its almost seven million physical books and 17 million other items — including 1.7 million rare items, 729 copies of Harry Potter books, and a Jane Fonda workout DVD.

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