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Re: "Digital Dark Age"

At a research library in a university setting the undergraduate library is
the place where all the reserve books and other materials are held. The
collection is generally not comprised of primary research materials or
unique items. Books tend to be of the "ready reference" type with relevant
journals..., in otherwords materials which are available in many cases in
digital form. While I would be loath to read lots of stuff of a screen the
types of materials which are in such a collection and their use lend
themselves to the digital medium. As this is a private university (I am
assume we're still talking about UPenn) there is also no stipulation that
these materials be accessible to the public. We're not talking about a
public library here. The library will have terminals (and printers) on
site which students can use, or they may well be able to access from the

Preservation/Books: what circulating books there are, and there will most
certainly be some that remain, will go through book repair more times than
they care. They won't be forgotten.

Public access: Public libraries are increasingly being networked and
providing access to the net, filtered or unfiltered. Those that don't have
computers can use them there, and even take a class in how to. Many
libraries offer that sort of thing. Thee networks will also be able to
bring in information which the library can't afford to buy/store...

Literacy: This is an issue which should interest us. Without it we may as
well not make books. There are many different kinds of literacy too,
basic, visual, information. For society to succeed we must become
comfortable with all of them. While there is (unfortunately) a direct
correlation between class and literacy, it can be overcome. It has to be
because as society becomes more complex, those with little or no literacy
will be left further behind than they are now.



Peter Verheyen, Listowner: Book_Arts-L

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