Monday, November 20, 2006

"A trip to the local library may no longer be necessary..."

An Arizona Republic article opens with those words. The article goes on to talk about local efforts to make information available to library patrons online and includes information on local digitization programs, including:
Arizona's state universities are getting involved primarily by digitizing special collections. These are collections that are unique to the university and often consist of photographs, letters, maps, manuscripts and sound recordings.

Since 1994, Northern Arizona University has steadily been converting its Colorado Plateau Archives to digital. The archives span 8 million items and focus on the Grand Canyon, Colorado River and the Native American communities...The archives get up to 2 million hits a year.
Newspaper articles like this one are great for promoting local efforts and reminding people that important work is being done by libraries in their region (and not just by the big boys like Google). Of course, I'm sure the opening phrase will send shivers down many spines, but the reality is that the library is not going away, it is morphing. It is moving from being a brick-and-mortar place to an online place. It's mission is shared by a number of non-library organizations and businesses, so the "who" behind these services we associate with the word "library" has changed and continues to change.

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