Digital Libraries

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How do you check a book out of a digital library? And how do libraries as we’ve known them meet the challenge of Web search engines that put instant reference desks into every PC, and deliver a bounty of magazines and newspapers and books online? From the Library of Congress on down, America’s libraries are scrambling to keep up with their wired cousins, and without the help of venture capital. The digital age changes all the rules of what’s available, and for a library: what’s worth collecting, what has to be saved for the shelves, or for circulation? Who’s keeping the archives, incidentally, of web magazines like, say,, that were born digital and never seen in the old paper form?

What happens when digital copyrights meet the “fair use” principle that lets libraries acquire and share copyrighted works? Why would you ever buy a book online if you can copy one from the library? Digital libraries are this hour on the Connection.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)


Anne Wolpert, Directory of MIT Libraries

Brewster Kahle, president and founder of the Internet Archive.