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ERIC Number: ED414929
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Apr
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Digital Libraries: A Unifying or Distributing Force?
Lesk, Michael
This paper addresses several questions about digital libraries. What kinds of communities will digital library technology produce? The Web seems much more popular then electronic journals--does this mean that surfing will replace literature reading, and that "nerds" building HTML hierarchies will supplant publishers? Will this mean that the universities will lose control of the quality of what their students read? Will the ability to do more research in one's dorm room mean that students will not talk to one another at all, that they will talk to people somewhere else in the world, or that they will talk to their roommates more than ever, perhaps about how to use the computer system? Digital information threatens our ideas of locality: will the association of students with a particular university, let alone university library, survive the Web? Might online references and online multimedia lectures produce the 'virtual university of the United States' and if so would that be desirable? Universities serve a variety of social functions which the Web can augment or diminish, depending on people's actions. The Web also may threaten ideas of quality in scholarship. This paper addresses potential consequences of the change to digital information, and suggests that universities can cope by being more proactive in their use of the Web for reward and communication. (Author)
Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A