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Digitize, Democratize: Libraries and the Future of Books

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Robert Darnton, Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and Director of the Harvard University Library; Member, Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Steering Committee

Despite a lot of loose talk about the death of the book and the obsolescence of libraries, books and libraries are more important than ever in the current digital environment; and their importance will increase as we design the digital future—if only we can get it right. One way leads through excessive commercialization to a future in which the public will cease to have access to most of the material that belongs in the public domain. Another way would democratize access to knowledge by creating a Digital Public Library of America. The DPLA faces formidable problems, but it is being successfully organized; and when it opens online next April, it will begin to make America’s cultural heritage available, free of charge, to all Americans and in fact to everyone in the world.

Published in: Education
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Digitize, Democratize: Libraries and the Future of Books

  1. 1. Digitize, Democratize
  2. 2. “FREE TO ALL” The Main Entrance toThe Boston Public Library
  3. 3. A Happy Ending:The DIGITAL PUBLIC LIBRARY OF AMERICA
  4. 4. DPLA

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