Digitale Bibliotheek: hoe verder te gaan vanaf hier?

In het Juli/augustus nummer van D-Lib Magazine omschrijft Clifford Lynch zijn toekomstvisie met betrekking tot de Digitale Bibliotheek.

The field of digital libraries has always been poorly-defined, a “discipline” of amorphous borders and crossroads, but also of atavistic resonance and unreasonable inspiration.

Lynch zijn doel is om kort stil te staan bij de argumenten die in het debat over het verleden en de toekomst van de Digitale Bibliotheek. Hij gaat terug in het verleden en noemt de namen van H.G. Wells, Paul Otlet en J.C.R. Licklider.

Licklider’s 1965 book Libraries of the Future might well be seen as marking one of the transition points between pre-history and the actual history of digital libraries.

Met de komst van de computer veranderde er veel in de denkbeelden en ook in de bronnen die aangeboord konden worden om een Digitale Bibliotheek te realiseren of om onderzoek te doen naar het fenomeen en de techniek er om heen.

Anno 2005 is het geld op, tenminste in de Verenigde Staten.

…. it seems a virtual certainty that substantial programmatic US government funding of digital libraries research in terms of the construction of prototype systems is at an end, at least for the near future. The novelty of constructing digital libraries as a research end in itself has run its course; additionally, government budget contractions and shifts in funding priorities make it difficult to establish any new research initiatives.

Lynch ziet nog mogelijkheden in de volgende gebieden

higher education, cultural memory, and government and commercial sectors in systems and services like digital asset management, digital collection creation and management, and institutional repositories.
Maar ook in personal information management, long term relationships between humans and information collections and systems en supporting teaching, learning, and human development.

Zijn conclusie zal daarom niet verrassend zijn. Hij ziet de toekomst van de Digitale Bibliotheek als volgt:

…. is connecting and integrating digital libraries with broader individual, group and societal activities, and doing this across meaningful time horizons that recognize digital libraries and related constructs as an integral and permanent part of the evolving information environment. The next decade for digital libraries may well be characterized most profoundly by the transition from technologies and prototypes to the ubiquitous, immersive, and pervasive deployment of digital library technologies and services in the broader information and information technology landscape.

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