Archive for the ‘Libraries’ Category
Google’s ambitious book-scanning program is foundering in the courts. Now a Harvard-led group is launching its own sweeping effort to put our literary heritage online. Will the Ivy League succeed where Silicon Valley failed?
But Harvard’s Darnton has one thing in common with Google’s Page: an ardent desire to see a universal library established online, a library that would, as he puts it, “make all knowledge available to all citizens.” In the 1990s he initiated two groundbreaking projects to digitize scholarly and historical works, and by the end of the decade he was writing erudite essays about the possibilities of electronic books and digital scholarship. In 2007 he was recruited to Harvard and named the director of its library system, giving him a prominent perch for promoting his dream. Although Harvard was one of the original partners in Google’s scanning scheme, Darnton soon became the most eminent and influential critic of the Book Search settlement, writing articles and giving lectures in opposition to the deal. His criticism was as withering as it was learned. Google Book Search, he maintained, was “a commercial speculation” that, under the liberal terms of the settlement, seemed fated to grow into “a hegemonic, financially unbeatable, technologically unassailable, and legally invulnerable enterprise that can crush all competition.” It would become “a monopoly of a new kind, not of railroads or steel, but of access to information.”
The present paper has sketched a general family of algorithms to extract meta-data about documents from the way these documents are consulted by users. Implementing such a system in a digital library would automatize much of the hard work that would otherwise need to be performed by highly trained information scientists.
However, the results of this system are envisaged to complement or support traditional methods rather than fully replace them. The reason is that the proposed system focuses on otherwise difficult to formalize properties of documents, namely the subjective associations that exist in the mind of the users between their different subjects and contents. The advantage is that these associations allow us to build a system that emulates human intuition, so that it can anticipate the desires of its users and provide them with the information they would find most interesting, even when these users cannot explicitly formulate what they are looking for. This is particularly useful for multimedia documents, which do not contain any searchable keywords, and for queries that are as yet illdefined.
You can check out a Kindle book from your local library and read it on any generation Kindle device or free Kindle reading app.
When you borrow a Kindle public library book, you’ll have access to all the unique features of Kindle books, including real page numbers and Whispersync technology that synchronizes your notes, highlights, and last page read. After a public library book expires, if you check it out again or choose to purchase it from the Kindle store, all of your annotations and bookmarks will be preserved.
“People who talk about libraries dying out are the ones who remember the libraries of their childhood … the library of today is not the library of our childhood, and the library that children see today is not the library we’ll see in 20 years.” They are evolving and innovating despite significant economic challenges and budget cuts, and people are utilizing libraries at steady or increasing rates.”
“Public libraries are so important in communities because they’re open access to unfettered information of all kinds”. “An informed citizenry is what makes a democracy work” … “When so much of our economy is driven by information, libraries level the playing field and provide open access to knowledge in its broadest sense.”