By Michael Rogers on MSNBC
Several years ago journalist John Lenger told a remarkable story in the Columbia Journalism Review about teaching a journalism class at Harvard’s extension school. He asked his young students to write a story about a Harvard land deal that occurred in 1732, but after a week of research, most came back with almost nothing substantial to report. The problem: They had done most of their research using the Internet, walking right past Harvard’s library and archives, where the actual information could be found. When Lenger questioned their research methods, one student replied that she assumed that anything that was important in the world was already on the Internet.
When I told that story recently to Brewster Kahle, the founder of the San Francisco non-profit Internet Archive, he shook his head: “When we were growing up,” he said, “we had great libraries. But for kids today, the Internet is their library. We are giving them an instantly accessible resource that is much worse than what we grew up with.” But Kahle, along with Google , Amazon and a clutch of prestigious libraries worldwide are all working to change that: digitizing thousands of books every day, building a global library where every manner of content lives online.
Turning books into bits, however, is not easy. . . Read on. . .
Posted by at June 22, 2005 5:56 PM