Being analog: creating tomorrow's libraries by Walt Crawford

By Walt Crawford

Walt Crawford, coauthor of destiny Libraries: desires, insanity, & fact, deals another version to a simplistic electronic destiny in Being Analog: developing Tomorrow's Libraries. The regularly outspoken Crawford demanding situations renowned prognostications, announcing that the advanced mixture of applied sciences tasks no transparent route to the longer term and that individuals use expertise in unforeseen methods. In modern aggressive investment setting, electronic desires of digital libraries pose the genuine chance of faulty actual and budgetary making plans. Crawford's cogent arguments may also help you articulate your personal standpoint to directors, employees, or clients who declare that the digital library will do all of it for much less. He explores the jobs of libraries and the explanations humans use libraries. He is helping you are making offerings one of the ever moving, advanced mixtures of electronic and analog assets. Being Analog celebrates the awesome effects specialist librarianship has accomplished in sensibly combining human intelligence and machine strength. It issues how to a true global the place versatile libraries aid cutting-edge providers and assets whereas accommodating tomorrow's adjustments.

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As a whole, print media are doing just fine, well past the time when they should have entered into serious decline. Sorry: time's up. Getting Past Digital Utopias I always regarded the all-digital future as a dystopia. Some, particularly those who still cling to it, clearly regard it as utopian. In either case, such a future is increasingly improbable. Planning that assumes an all-digital future will betray libraries and librarians: You're betting on a long shot. Some futurists continue to promote an all-digital future because there's big consulting money in simplistic projections, and nobody seems to check the track records of futurists.

The hard disk of 1986 was likely to hold no more than 40MB, top out at 40ms random access speed, and last a year or two before crashing. A typical hard disk of 1998, one costing one-third as much (discounting inflation) as 1986's 40MB unit, would hold six gigabytesthat is, 6,000 MBoffer 9 to 10ms random access speed, and have an average life expectancy much longer than you'd be likely to keep a computer. Factoring in speed and reliability, 1998's PC disk offered perhaps 1,000 times the value of the 1986 hard diskwhich was itself an enormous improvement over earlier disks.

Odlyzko tells us that, "We will not only have to use information in electronic forms to deal with the variety and volume of it, but we will prefer to use it that way" Why? Because "electronics is advancing rapidly, much faster than print technology. While the number of books sold each year is growing, it is growing at rates that are a tiny fraction of those for electronic information. " This is a combination of technological handwave and specious comparison. The growth rate of electronic data is irrelevant to the health or sickness of printbut the fact of continued growth in book sales speaks volumes.

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