THE FUTURE OF HIGHER
(All chapters are intended for continuing revision)
Volume I - Chapter Five
(Last updated June 3, 2008) 2007 version in Chinese following this chapter bibliography
A GLOBAL VIRTUAL LIBRARY, ONLINE TO SERVE ALL
(welcoming suggestions from librarians, especially web links)
On the 2005 global WSIS conference in Egypt on information technology and libraries. `the information society in action,'. serving global health care, education, disaster relief, etc. see <http://www.bibalex.org/wsisalex/>. For papers on an outstanding global library project: <http://www.alexandria.ucsb.edu/~gjanee/publications.html>.UNESCO digital library list: <http://www.unesco.org/webworld/portal_freesoft/Software/Digital_Library/>.
Dean Ayers of the University of Virginia at a 2005 Library of Congress symposium on the `digital future,' reported that vast progress had been made in the previous ten years to get all important research data digitalized, and he illustrated what that meant for historians, for example, in his `Valley of the Shadow <http://valley.vcdh.virginia.edu/> project that had dreasiclaly changed his understanding of the American civil war. On the vast digital images available from the New York Public Library see <http://www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=177>.
Google announced on December 14, 2004 that it was initiating what the New York Times described as a major step towards a global virtual digital library that hopefully in time can provide at no charge a vast library to anyone on the planet. A deal was made with Oxford University and major American libraries and publishers to digitalize, make searchable and make freely available on line all possible books, manuscripts and other materials. In time this can be connected to other online texts, films, videos and other resources. <http://international.loc.gov/intldl/find/digital_collaborations.html> is the web page for the collaborative libraries-Library of Congress global gateway. Kieft (2006) foresees an online library catalog on which users can brouse books on a similar topic as they can on a library shelf and that can be searchable in a variety of inter-connected ways. Vest (2006) foresees a massive global online library. Also see: <http://1upinfo.com>.
The previously discussed COSMOPEDIA (see essay below following the end of chapter bibliography) may ultimately be at the center of global library resources for everyone in the world. Many people have educated themselves, using only a good library. Now e-books (3.7) and projects like the huge California digital library <http://www.cdlib.org>..are likely now to transform libraries--and research--especially becoming part of the solution to information glut. This is crucial not only for learners and scholars, but also for public-policy makers who need reliable information and analysis. Much of the information they receive is unsystematic, unreliable and tainted by special interests. Much may be too technical to be understood and used or “may be politically, financially or administratively impractical, or not in the interest of decision makers.” (McGann 2000). On line instruction and research can now include links to all kinds of resources as well as to online resources with instruction on how to use it.
How will the library change when an individual will be able to carry thousands of `digital books' in one's pocket? When all the world's libraries are linked into a global system with everything cross-indexed? NetLibrary in 2005 had over 75.000 books available online. Will a hundred million be sometime available that way? See articles on libraries and concepts of literacy in <http://innovateonline.info>. The book Web Wisdom by Eleanor Jan et all how to check the accuracy of information on a web page. A number of new services suggest the future, such as <http://www.librarything.com/> that helps you locatebbooks used by other persons who have similar interests
A digital archive of 10 billion pages has been given to the new electronic library at Alexandria, Egypt. It can be "instantly updated, easily searched and endlessly replicated. "Books will long remain but their current form may in time seem as obsolete as the clay tables of antiquity. (See 3.7.) Another step, Wolf suggested, is `www.amazon's' goal of creating a digital archive of its multi-million title library in a form that will make it possible to search everything. In time books need never be out of print as all are preserved in electronic form--from which a for sale copy can be accessed from any bookstore. More and more sophisticated software that will be developed. For example, Young (2004) reported in 2004 that leading `search engines' often failed scholarly researchers by not including information in some scholarly archives. So search engine companies were working to provide more and better scholarly information. OAOster, he said, in a partnership with Yahoo had "indexed more than three million scholarly documents and images from 227 institutions. <http://oaister.umdl.umich.edu/oaister>. The Online Computer Library Center and MIT are cooperating on a project "to point Google's users to printed books in local and academic libraries .
As we discuss online global virtual library futures, we note such conferences as the one sponsored by the National Science Foundation in 2004 (note decisions at <http://www.distance-educator.com/dnews/Article11625.phtml> and the `LearningTimes' Library Online Community, a year-round online collaboration space for and by librarians and information professionals. The Community has featuredes open live collaboration spaces for meetings with colleagues, frequent webcasts on timely topics, ongoing dialogues with thought leaders, and just-in-time access to indispensable people and content. <http://www.libraryconference.com/>.
To discuss a global virtual library we must again consider both the rich and poor of the world and the need for "digital learning objects" online that can be indexed and located in networked grids that correspond to real world places. (Alexander 2004). Also what will be the library needs of learners, teachers and researchers in new kinds of globally-oriented learning institutions, such as in the models we will examine in the next five chapters and projects to make essential materials available to the educationally deprived. Our thesis: that there should be a project of a consortium of university, government and research libraries. .Nobel Prize winner Harold Varmus (Greenwald 2004) has been promoting `open access' that would provide scientific information--now in journals that can cost $20,000 a year--free to "everyone from high school students to scientists in the developing world.. A first pilot free. refereed journal was on line in 2004.
At the same time Finland has been developing a national electronic library to be available to everyone in the country and it was suggested that its experience should in time be helpful in the development of a global university electronic library: <http://www.kka.fi/julkaisut_tkteksti.lasso?id=409>. Seaman (2003) discussed the economies and service that can be provided by `the federated digital library' that begins to harmonize all records so that a "user could download, combine, search, annotate, and wrap the results into a `seamless digital library mix,' shaped to the individual user's needs. Users should be provided with "content that fosters discovery, engagement and experiment," in ways that are easy to use. Also note the virtual development library: <http://vlib.org/>.
(1) A library in the early European universities consisted of each scholar’s own personal collection of books or manuscripts which one might share with others. Something like that may occur now with information age technology. All the material a student needs for a course may be included in or electronically attached to the e-textbook. An individual can also have an entire library of books on a disk or smart card. Further, as 2001 students (illegally) used Napster to download files of music, students may be able to download any book that is online, especially those that are not copyrighted or that are accessible for a fee. For example, the Digital Library Company announced that its Questia Media would in 2001 begin offering a digital library service that would allow students electronically to search a collection of over 50,000 books and journals from over 135 publishers by keyword. For a fee of $20-30 a month the service would allow students to download. The system would systematically create hyperlink footnotes so that professors could check the citations (Chronicle 2000).
(2) As shared collections grew in early universities, the library evolved into a place, a building where scholars could rummage and explore books in a centralized book collection. So, at the heart of traditional university campuses are great libraries, which Dougherty (1991) said were not used by students and faculty as much as is commonly supposed. In Volume III we will say more about new kinds of information age buildings and campuses. Librarians will still need a physical location, and on campus the `library’ building may combine with museums that preserve and present humanity’s artifacts; with campus galleries that preserve and conserve art; and with many other campus collections. These buildings may also provide `learning experience’ rooms (3.4) in which a user could enter into the many facets of life in a past century, or of an author or system of thinking, and other sophisticated forms of experience suggested by what is now provided in imaginative children’s museums. Many universities have already merged their libraries and computer service sections.
(3) The library later came to be seen also as a staff of experts who could help the scholar obtain whatever was needed. It is linking this staff of experts, globally, that makes possible the first available services of what will become a virtual global digital library. It seems logical that teams of librarians and curators will continue the process of organizing all knowledge and make it available, as they now are doing by digitalizing their materials and collaborating with all kinds of services as in the OCLC, etc. (see below). However, (2.2.1) within the `Global Brain concept’ librarians are but part of a more comprehensive, holistic approach to all the world’s knowledge. Virtual Libraries--however important reference and other personalized services may be--are the instruments of higher education for the storing and preserving of knowledge.
(4) Today’s library is less and less a place for books and printed materials alone; it also supplies the learner and researcher with resource materials such as films, video and audiocassettes, microfiche, tapes, CD-ROM, computer diskettes, and on-line data bases with interconnected links that are increasingly international. The announcement by CNN in 2001 that it would spend five or so years digitalizing and making available for library use its vast store of videotapes is but a beginning to another enlargement of electronic libraries, a continually enlarging bank of such data as TV news broadcasts from all over the world. The `Internet Archive' is a free depository of more than ten billion Web pages since 1996--still in use and defunct--that is five times the size of the library of Congress. Web search engines can find some video image if they are in Web pages that can be located by key words. Next, at Columbia University software was being developed that could search a video by certain features in images; and at Carnegie Mellon software is being developed to search by sound and image analysis. (Technology Review, July 2001) Increasingly the digital world will be served by the new electronic library at Alexandria, Egypt.
(5) Garfinkle (2001) proposed that "reality is heading in a different direction," away from the notion that massive data bases will be centralized and brought together into one global electronic library. We suggest here that the `global electronic library' will consist of an index (or electronic library catalog)--and connect to--perhaps millions of local data bases Garfinkle says that "we as are instead building an infrastructure that's optimized for data replication." This means that the same information is getting copied to...thousands of places throughout the world and "kept current through continuing...updates." Many digital libraries on the Web have been targeted to specific user groups. Planners for a Workshop on Distributed Computing Architectures for Digital Libraries discussed the fact that few such libraries use the more sophisticated peer-to-peer systems and other architectures used elsewhere on the Web .
(6) A global library system begins to emerge and will bring together many kinds of electronic and online libraries, such as e-text: <http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/ebooks/ebooklist.html>'. (Read 2003) pointed to what may be one of the most important new research developments, one that can inexpensively empower developing world research and study. This is the use of `personal sensing' technology to "digitalize primary sources." thus "fulfilling the chief goal of academe: democratizing the formation." One illustration, now also on CD, "explores the Civil War travails" of a union town and a confederate town in the same valley. Another brings together in digital form a vast array of information on the Mississippi valley, including for example to include data in a consortium of museums. On digital library developments see: <http://www.syllabus.com/article.asp?id=9362>. Many university libraries are now being digitalized by Google indexing.
(7) Tomorrow’s online Virtual Library (Quinn 2000) will be “a Web-based, relatively seamless network of information sources that can answer any question (within varying lengths of time), with the only barrier being in the user’s lack of resources in money, time, skills and equipment.” Hawkins (2001) said that it is a myth that Web already provides the needed library. The Web is "not a coherent collection of information...is not catalogued...and the most valuable information is protected by copyright and is therefore not available." So the qualities that make a library valuable are not there yet." For these and other reasons the Web is not the library needed for education, but is only a part of that library.
Perhaps a crucial problem for the student in Africa who needs information from a library in Asia is how to get the personal help, even if by chance she has the connections and funds. To serve the distant learner, the virtual research/teaching library is not just a museum that that conserves knowledge. It also distributes knowledge, helping scattered users keep up with the rapid increase in knowledge and cope with it. Providing such service seems to be a major reason to link all reference librarians and their sources. Just as a USA telephone company may switch a query to a free operator in a distant city, there can be a system whereby the virtual reference library system transfers a query to the best source for the answer; or a link to those whose research is seeking an answer.
The US Library of Congress, the Canadian government, Harvard University and institutions in many other countries have been working on a global reference library service--operating twenty-four hours a day--using reference librarians in different time zones to answer any question and refer learners to sources. It seeks to “provide a professional reference service to researchers anytime and anywhere through an international network of reference librarians, and in cooperation with other services such as COLC, the USA Department of Education, and the Collaborative Digital Reference Service centered at the Library of Congress.
Surveys early in the 21st century show that students on many campuses frequently ask questions of the Internet Public Library” conducted by the School of Information (think `library science’) at the University of Michigan. It was started as an experiment as the “first public library on the Internet.” <http://www.ipl.org > It also operates twenty-four hours a day and answers to ‘answer any question,” are often provided by students who are in training to become reference librarians. (Also see the search engine: http://www.getCited.org/. )
(8) In time will not such services often become automated, just as one can phone many hospitals and get recorded answers to frequently asked questions? The ERIC system, for example, already has had a database of frequently asked questions, and a data base search process. <http://ericir/edu/> More important, one will be able to download a book in a foreign language, and receive it in one's own language. In 2003 such automated translation on the Internet was often inadequate, but the NEW YORK TIMES, Sept. 25, 2003 reported on the project--begun by an amateur when he was a teenager--that had by 2003 developed "Unicode Standard 4.0" that had translated all of the letters and symbols of thousands of languages, ancient and modern into `1 and 0' computer code and was being used, for example, to translate Rabelais into Celtic Irish.
If such services are not adequate, a question can be directed by e-mail to an `expert.” The future electronic global high-tech Virtual Library could have an automated system to show video-tapes or CDs to answer many questions; for example, showing films that demonstrate new methods of water conservation; films that can provide clearer answers than even the most practical book. So not only are reference materials becoming available in new and more manageable form, but the tasks and methods of reference librarians are also changing. An artificial-intelligence-controlled `reference assistant’ may in time guide users through the worldwide virtual library and automatically connect a user, one for example using an automated tutor on the Internet to gain education to the best-available database. Many distant scholars, when in need of information that may not yet be in print or on-line, could use the system to make a request that can be referred to the reference librarian or expert who knows the answer. This could be also invaluable for impoverished learners in the developing world.
The volume of requests could become unmanageable unless much of the system is automated for routine requests and questions that can be referred to links.. Already at the turn of the century the scientist in Berlin who asks the question to Los Alamos may get answers from Australia and California. So one university library assigned a reference librarian to regularly scan as many scientific web sites as possible--as search engines do--so as to be able to link users to the most up-to-date scientific information. But shouldn’t this be an automated process in every field of knowledge and in cooperation with those libraries that have expertise on a discipline or sub-section of an information database?
Quinn (2000) pointed out that the Web provides “a medium that can gather questions from all comers and deliver answers anywhere” any hour of day or night. Personal answers can in the middle of the night be provided from other time zones. Answers to frequently asked questions could be recorded or prepared in advance. The virtual library reference system “can have all the features offered by traditional libraries,” she says, and a lot more! It can when necessary connect enquirers to commercial services—such as the Publisher’s International Linking Association or the ISI Web of Science—where users can purchase papers or books. She also anticipated potential conflict between venders—commercial information services—and the free virtual global library’s services. So as many users are willing to pay for excellent commercial services, libraries must keep in mind their tradition of serving poor people, especially those seeking to learn. In relation to its WorldCat--the world’s largest bibliographical database--the OCLC’s CORC project (Computer Online Resource Catalog,) <http://www.oclc.org> uses automated tools to build a shared database, transferring cataloging service into a metadata management system. Many such projects are but a few of the building stones of a foundation for a global virtual library. <http://www.ohiolink.edu/resources/dblist.php?by=format&search=fulltext>
As in other areas, many `Google' and `library’ projects are under development; for example the UNESCO <http://www.unesco.org/webworld> project for the electronic recording and making available of scientific theses and dissertations, specifically to meet the needs of developing countries; and the Multilingual Digital Library for West Africa that hopes for a two-way connection with the entire scholarly world. Unfortunately the impoverished scholar—at home or abroad—is not well served when commercial interests (who make a profit from selling scientific information) lobby to close down tax-supported services such as PubScience of the U.S/ Department of Energy and other such free research services. As we mention some Internet and virtual library projects here, we must stress the fact that no one yet knows what they will become as they are linked into a library usable by anyone anywhere in the world. On Google library projects see <http://books.google.com/googleprint/library.html>.
There have been hints that `global reference librarians’ will be able to answer any question. Really? For the student from Africa whose question is: how can I now easily get cured of AIDS? We must come back to the fact that so many of the really important questions are not yet answerable. For the distance student online catalogs need to add more information, such as links to recommended reviews of a book, with varied opinions. Some British scientists however have been seeking to make more of the findings of science free to all. <http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,1056608,00.html>.
1.5.3 THE END OF BOOKS? (See 3.7. here.)
Electronic books—digital e-books--are going to change academic libraries drastically. A student may soon check out an e-book reader to use it like a printed book. Also, a learner will be able to download the book and will not need to go to the library building to do so. Its copyright restrictions may not allow it to be printed out or copied and it may be coded to disappear in two weeks. Except for current printed materials—such as local newspapers and popular fiction—most traditionally printed books may then be handled more like museum items. Only living, growing, changing books will be provided to learners and they can include digital copies of ancient manuscripts or whatever.
It is too soon to predict the end of print books, but not to foresee the demise of most traditional textbooks. (Discussed in more detail here in (3.7) Electronic textbooks, tailored to a specific class or even to each unique individual, may in time be downloaded from the Internet, then printed and bound for the purchaser; but even then, on e-paper, it can be connected to a CD-ROM or to the Internet so that illustrations can be turned into moving pictures. Such a textbook can therefore be available to the learner in both printed and electronic form. The e-book can be connected to the Internet for daily, weekly or monthly corrections or updating (Looney 2001). The e-book’s text can be supplemented with the learner’s notes, thoughts, observations and additional materials. (See 3.7.) Such a textbook need never become out of date and—if connected from time to the time to the Internet for updating—it can serve a learner for a lifetime. If needed, explanations of high school geometry will still be there on the disk that preserves each individual’s electronic memory system, available for revising and consulting across many years. (More in Volume III)
Libraries, for history and conservation purposes, may want to preserve print copies of e-textbooks, monographs and journals, but in archives, not for regular use. Thus the nature of the university library becomes radically changed, as everything for current use is online. Looney and Sheehan (2001) predicted that university bookstores will market e-books as vigorously as Barnes and Noble and amazon.com do. “Specialized system integrator companies will soon be assisting libraries with integrating e-Books into their lending systems.” They have also pointed out that the e-Book format makes it easily possible for a student to use precious and rare documents that are kept under lock and key in collections around the world, but which can be made available anywhere in digital form. (See: http://www.octavo.com) An experiment in a paperless campus without a a library of books: <http://www.wired.com/news/school/0,1383,53747,00.html> .
Few people took it seriously when in last century Watson Davis, one of the founders of the American Society for Information Science (ASIS), predicted a global electronic library.. Elaborating on the idea, Dertouzos (1999) suggested that each nation in the world “would supply in electronic form their contributions to world literature including rare and out-of-print volumes.” The virtual library would then look like one uniform library to those who use it, even though it does so by providing access to many databases and libraries, hundreds of millions of documents, films, and “all other creations of our human heritage…available to everybody, anywhere, anytime.” On the emerging digital science library see: <http://libraryjournal.reviewsnews.com/index.asp?layout=article&articleid=CA277226&display=breakingNews>. In the fall of 2004 BBC reported that it was planning to make its vast TV archives available free of charge.
Today one sees the beginning of a global electronic library system that links the digital catalogs and resources of all libraries. Some librarians feel that the World Wide Web is already becoming a global virtual library because of current developments such as the Online Computer library Consortium (OCLC), which in 2001 involved 38,000 or so institutions in seventeen countries. <http://www.oclc.org>. It has been developing: (a) The Online Public Access System (OPAC), a global catalog to link the resources of all the materials which libraries are putting on line in digital form. Its `Dublin Core’ system prepares a description of every available item. (b) And an automated system to search through the Web, to find, organize, and link all reference librarians will all peer reviewed resource materials, text, journals, video, music, graphics, maps and so forth.
If and when every library digitalizes and makes available its unique resources on line--and they are all linked--the vast task of creating a universal virtual library can be accomplished; although it will be many years. For it will take a great deal of time and money for huge libraries--like the French National Library with vast quantities of original and historical material--to complete their share of the task. It may sound like science fiction to talk yet about it being available to all persons on every continent, to every learner in the world. For some poor and unconnected countries that may be a dream for a future century; on five continents, however, many students and faculty already participate in its beginnings.
Planners who are not library specialists have had a glimpse of some “revolutionary changes”—as well as at overwhelming difficulties faced—in the library systems of major universities. Already by the 1990's some fields of study, such as law, had “already created a kind of electronic library” and that several different types were likely to emerge for difference professions, disciplines and tasks. Digital video library of world music: <http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news/page/normal/571.html>. Foster (2003) reported on some of the difficulties faced by online for-profit libraries that need collaboration with resident librarians in order to succeed.
A virtual library (Brownrigg 1990) requires bilateral and multilateral agreements to be negotiated on location of data, finances, and exchange standards, and on technologies that differ drastically from country to country. In addition to the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), other initiatives include (see below) which early undertook a pioneering role in working on international standards and projects “that affected every library and university.” The Library of Congress, Manfred Kochen (1988) reported, was at a turning point in its history: “the nerves of government being augmented by the technologies of freedom.” New technologies, Kochen said, were providing more options for amplifying the intellectual work that is so essential for the information age. Kochen’s research at the Library of Congress--on how to improve its functioning--proposed transforming it into a “referral and facilitation service” in a network of many libraries, and beyond that, to the `cosmopedia’ to bring all knowledge together? See <http://www.greenstone.org/english/home.html>.
An unprecedented flexibility in the hands of the user--"to define and satisfy individual requirements”--increasingly frees the scholar from the constraints of the traditional library. The on-campus learner can access library materials from distant libraries in the dorm, in class, or while off campus on vacation. Today’s learner, however, needs much more than `the facts` or access to documents and books and tomorrow’s learner is going to need much more. Glimpses of the future can be seen, for example, in architectural changes in libraries at Princeton University. Marks (2002) reported on new kinds of library space on campus, made essential by the rapidly changing shape of information technology, including more flexibly architecture that can be more easily changed to accommodate future technologies and furniture (every chair wired for power and data.) Princeton University was finding that use of library buildings was increasing even as students could access materials from their dorm rooms in the middle of the night. The availability of rare books in digital form was greatly increasing their use by students and faculty.
A truly universal virtual library service can in time provide help in creating a comprehensive holistic map of all knowledge. Beyond the cosmopedia, the previously described continually updated encyclopedia of all verifiable knowledge, there must be a system to deal with the world’s most serious unanswered questions and problems –holistically and in greater depth. For example, the librarian has to face up to the fact that in the global information era there no longer is a `historian’ anymore, in the classical sense. There are historians who are experts on one small bit of human history, perhaps a geographical period and era, such as the history of Cuba in the 18th century. There are historians of a local community, or a region. There are historians of agriculture, or science or philosophy, and so forth. There are historians who write from a Marxist or another point of view. There are cosmological historians of the universe. So it takes a team of thousands of historians—in time perhaps hundreds of thousands at a time—to put history together, to undertake the classical effort to find some patterns or meaning, to discover lessons from the past and to create accurate repositories of the past. Who, but the librarians, are going to provide the maps for exploring such a vast universe of fact, data…and some wisdom.
The e-textbook or e-history book can continue to help the novice learner by proposing an organization, a structure, and one way to cope with a mass amount of data. The textbook can link the learner to original sources as a step towards scholarship and even expertise. However, information age technology and needs confront every expert, every scholar—even the most brilliant and most highly educated and experienced—with everyone’s monumental ignorance and inability to cope adequately with the vast amounts of data Perhaps the first words of the lecturer in an introductory course on method for historical study should be: “I would like to invite you to explore a vast universe of hyperlinks to history, but to be honest I can only invite you to swim in a stormy ocean. You can swim off by yourself, but to get anywhere you will need a great many companions to support you on the journey. And the librarians and bibliographers are as important as your instructor, counselor tutor, and guides.” Spanier (2003) notes that students today use conventional libraries less and less.
1.5.6 SERVICES FOR DISTANT LEARNERS <http://www.widernet.org/digitalLibrary/HowItWorks.htm>.
One of these days nearly everyone will more consciously be a `lifelong distance learner." Students in secondary schools and universities who get used to the Internet will increasingly, after graduation, "continue to inhabit this ocean of digital content." Lynch (2003) Will the newly educated engineer who works in a foreign country and the rural doctor, for example, continue a lifelong relationships with a university through an online library system? Soon it may be difficult to separate the virtual library needs and possibilities for on campus students from those of distance learners. All are going to need the same `swimming instruction’ and much of it—like the librarian’s lecture to a history class on how to use the library—can be automated, but also a `living,’ continually changing kind of automation in relation to the tutoring process for beginners in Internet use. In the developing world much of this will be accomplished in secondary schools.
In January 2000 an archive--PubMed Central--was opened on the World Wide Web by the National Institutes of Health in the USA “intended, eventually, to house or link all biomedical research” published in this country. (Bloom 2000) It was announced as the beginning of an electronic public library, free to the public as well as to professionals to provide full text of articles and research reports and would “exploit the multimedia capacities of the Internet. The director of the NIH said that it could change the way science is done, with images on the screen, movies, large data sets and links between documents. But objections were immediately raised—backed by those who now profit from selling the information--that the new comprehensive database would” disrupt established methods of evaluating research for publication” which Bloom called a conflict between the old technology and the new, between innovation and inertia. This more holistic and comprehensive plan had to be modified. It was recognized that carefully monitored peer review had to be included. But, Bloom said, “the larger issue has to do with possibilities for advancing knowledge--and whether traditional institutions can adapt to them.
Neighborhood tele-center. Perhaps one essential component of the ultimate global virtual library system will be two-way connections with the neighborhood or small village tele-center (Vol. 2.18)--a part of the local electronic learning center, More than anyone else, the poorest--rural as well as urban--need access to essential information. So libraries and others must create easily accessible databases and websites designed especially to meet their needs. Meanwhile in June 2005 the Association of American Publishers has asked Google to stop scanning copyrighted books in its project to put the entire contents of some major university libraries online until issues can be negotiated.
It is not only for distance learners and faculty that service requirements in the livelong learning system will be driven and shaped by this increasing use of technology. Kenneth King, formerly a provost at Cornell University, and then president of EDUCOM, said that the goal is to create a world network to connect every scholar with every important source of information—at no cost to the user—via an enabling “information management system” (Arms 1990).
The emerging virtual, global library is a network of information tools and services, mostly located in many different places on five continents. The virtual library can increasingly make it possible for scholars to have access to that information network no matter where they may be working. That library/network will increasingly provide full access to text and video and the system will be easy to use without becoming a computer expert. Teams of researchers in various countries—as in virtual co-laboratories—can be automatically connected to databases that regularly notify them of new information in their area of research; for example links to the National Institutes of Health in the USA.
A historian was told that he would one day be able to request immediate access to and read a page from a manuscript from as distant a place as a Portuguese museum via a computer screen or network connected e-book at his home or office. He admitted that this could greatly facilitate research, but he complained that “it would take all the fun out of the work. Rather than having a page from an ancient manuscript shown me on a computer terminal,” he said, “I would more enjoy going to Portugal to rummage around in a musty old museum.” Then he was asked: “How many of a billion of learners and a hundred thousand researchers in the world could that museum accommodate even if they could afford to travel?”
So a next step in a global virtual library plan could be virtual reality visits to distant museums and historical sites --as visits to archeological digs at Delphi in Greece are now available--so that with wall-size screens and other forthcoming technology one can view everything there as if geographically present. Increasing bandwidth will have such fast speed that virtual visits can be fruitful in ways that are hardly yet imaginable. They can also be affordable for learners and researchers for whom such travel would otherwise be possible. Will then the global virtual library also include links to more than museums? (More on research in Volume II.)
Libraries that cannot afford to subscribe to hundreds of expensive journals or purchase large numbers of scholarly books, can now access vast amounts of information via Internet and Web. However, their phone lines may be slow and expensive and funds still are needed for technology and to access materials that are not available free. In Africa there has been discussion of a collaborative long-range electronic library plan in which poor libraries might jointly petition for low cost service. Also limited library personnel need training, especially in how to adapted and repair inadequate technology as well as use the latest technology when it becomes available. Some technology, and instruction and services on line can perhaps be secured by establishing a close, cooperative “sister library” relationship with a North American or European university. Developing world libraries can also unite in a consortium to divide up share materials and responsibilities in a sort of regional electronic library center serving several or many libraries and schools. As more materials become available on the Internet through a pay-for-use basis, plans need to be made for grants in aid to poor schools and universities. Oxford University Press was in 2003 experimenting with ways to provide electronic journals free or at reduced cost to developing countries. <http://www3.oup.co.uk/jnls/devel/>.
Also sizeable libraries of materials are becoming available on CD-ROM, free from international agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the U.S. Agricultural Library and the USA Institutes of Health. Note, for example, the Humanity Development Library “for sustainable development and basic human needs.” Its volume 1.2 CD already included 700 books and reports (full text), 17,000 images, 120,000 pages of ideas, experiences and solutions” to help people meet their basic needs in agriculture, aquaculture, energy, water, environment, sanitation, health, nutrition, handicrafts, and much more. See: <http://www.humaninfo.org>
This project, involving over a hundred international partners, could provide such a CD to any school library in the developing world for a few dollars, and often free from a New Zealand digital library project. The plan is to make twenty million pages available.
Provisional and experimental efforts, however, are not a substitute for initiatives --by wireless and cable—to link all university libraries first, and all libraries in the world as soon as possible. Is there a `bottom up’ global library development plan to survey every library in the world and its needs? Schools of Library Science --although many are changing that name--were at the turn of the 21st century already offering courses on digital libraries, systems administration and management, us of Internet and Web resources, meta-data architecture and in other areas that were nor available even a decade earlier, with perhaps a few exceptions.
Learners wherever they are, as well as students and teachers on campus, also need to access archives and data bases that might be at another university anywhere in the world. The Ohio College Association initiated what became the Online College Library Center (OCLC, Inc.) with headquarters near Columbus, Ohio. This center has become the world s largest “bibliographic computer system,” including sound recordings, music scores, maps, journals, and audiovisual materials as well as books. By 1986, it was serving over 8,000 libraries in twenty-six countries including, for example, the database of Kinki University library in Osaka, Japan. OCLC is committed by charter to “furthering the ease of access and use of the ever-expanding body of worldwide scientific, literary and educational information” (McGill and Racine in Arms 1990). By the turn of the century it was serving 38,000 institutions worldwide.
Again, where is the master plan for the virtual global library, the step-by-step global planning process for beginning now to accomplish such goals for all learners in the world?
As the information explosion continues and it becomes increasingly difficult to manage the vast amounts of information available, the emerging electronic library also needs better ways to organize and to make available this huge corpus of human knowledge. American Association for Information Science (ASIS) publications report many experiments and developments in electronic indexing, transmission, and coding of library materials. An enlarging network of information professionals, sometimes coordinated with each other, increasingly linked, are at work on the foundations for a more adequate worldwide electronic library, even before they see or know how their work will ultimately integrate the world’s knowledge. None of this as yet, however, adds up to a global strategy to digitalize and link all helpful materials, even those in each village on its own history and culture.
Perhaps, however, a beginning is seen in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Digital Library Project, called `DSpace, that in 2002 was beginning digitalize the `entire intellectual output' of MIT in cooperation many many other universities. This `super archive'--with its own Google-type search engine--was planning to move everything out of storage that may not be accessible in the long-range future. The digital archive will include such varied items as brain scans, videos, class lectures and discussions, huge data sets, research papers and reports, books, ocean floor surveys, whole courses, data from interstellar monitoring. just to name a few. MIT hoped to lead a '`federation'' of universities around the world that would build systems using the DSpace technology that would make scholarly information available to any Internet-connected computer in the world," hoping to set a new standard for the stewardship of knowledge."
Eric Drexler (1987) early proposed “a large, highly evolved hypertext system” as central to a world electronic library. Materials in digital form could be continually reorganized and indexed in all kinds of ways to facilitate study and use. A dedicated computerized hypermedia system to link all relevant materials on a particular subject. And at every sentence, or even at many crucial words, there could be a hyperlink to more detailed information on that point. Where printed reference books include photo illustrations, a hypermedia system already can also include moving picture illustrations, lab demonstrations, music, and graphics. One can ask the system to search for more detailed information or illustrations at any point, for it not only stores documents and visual materials, but also develops links between them, idea by idea. And more and more links are developed each time a scholar uses the system.
So, Drexler pointed out, in the last century hypertext could represent human knowledge in a more natural way. “Human knowledge forms an unbroken web, and human problems sprawl across the fuzzy boundaries between fields.” Rows of books, he said, do a poor job of representing these connections, the structure of human knowledge. Despite all the best efforts of librarians to create webs by indexing, “library research still daunts all but a dedicated minority of the reading public.” This changes and improves in a hypertext-based electronic library system where ideas can be seen in their largest contexts and where what humanity does not know, the “holes in arguments,” to use Drexler's phrase, can be more visible to potential researchers.
Learners and researchers will be able, for example, with moving pictures and graphic representations--make `virtual visits’ to historical sites, as if a lecture is actually being given at the Parthenon in Athens. Once all the recorded knowledge of mankind—written, spoken, painted or performed—is fully indexed and cross-referenced in electronic and machine-searchable form (Stewart 1991) a student can listen to a symphony while following the score on-line, and while at the same time having access to a film about the composer. Next now more initiative must be taken by those who seek to map and model the stars, (we are still waiting for `star maps’ of knowledge systems) knowledge patterns, what some call the knowledge landscape or ecology, to develop the Semiotic Web. We anticipate an integrated, holistic approach which at the same time will free the learner, teacher and researcher from much noncreative activity.
For the universities' function of preserving knowledge they need the very powerful new technologies that are coming, but they also need a larger, richer, deeper view of what to do with those technologies. Hawkins (2001) noted that "libraries provide a clear example of both the promises and the pitfalls of new technology--both the problems solve and the problems created. O'Donnell (1998) warned that the future electronic virtual library "promises an exciting future," but one "that will be just like the past, only better and faster." Indeed, he said, it may already be obsolete. If it sweeps us off our feet with overwhelming amounts of data, when there are as many publishers as readers, "it may not be highly prized."
" Some of the problems a global library strategy must address, are:
Trustworthyness, autoritative knowledge in a flexible cross-indexed digital system (Campbell 2006)
Scope: A global virtual library catalog in part consists of the interconnection of all the world’s databases, including government and corporation databases which may not be part of a library system. Only a fraction, for example, of local community and commercial databases are digitalized by libraries, and the reference library must access those web pages just as any local user does. Extensive international collaboration will be required among universities and business partners, yet Hawkins (2001) points out, "higher education regularly backs away from collaborative relationships for a range of traditional reasons." The essential collaboration requires "a synergistic--not an additive--solution...the actual commitment of resources...based on a shared vision."
Developing World Access: In the 1990's most scholarly information systems, such as the comprehensive pedagogical research (ERIC) system, provided only titles and abstracts but not full text. The scholar in Africa needed much more than the list of books and journal articles from a Web search. Universities like Cornell's “scholarly information project” (Arms 1990) had sought ways for researchers to obtain an electronic copy of any document; for example, providing the full text via computer monitor or TV screen (access by cable TV). Then it could be printed out if it contained what is required. After a period of demonstration and experimentation, Cornell's system intended, for example, to provide access to the entire AGRICOLA database of the National Agricultural Library to scholars across electronic networks and also to the BIOSIS database in genetics so that they would be available to scholars in many countries. That, however, is already yesterday. As of the turn of the century no such system was really available and affordable to many developing world countries.
Language is another problem of access. In time there can be automatic translation, and some databases already offer an option of languages. The European Univision library project was at the turn of the century preparing a multilingual thesaurus in European languages
Technology: Late in the 20th century, in Japan, the idea of an electronic library on satellite--for everyone in the world--was seriously proposed and discussed. Anyone in even the most remote college in Asia or Africa could then use a modest-priced dish receptor to get access to a scholarly library, which in time might be as comprehensive as the Library of Congress. In February 1989 one plan for such a “Space Station Library System” was proposed by Takeshi Utsumi's GLOSAS project together with Global Education Associates. The proposal was a response to the interest of the Japanese government in launching a satellite for educational programs around the Pacific and to the idea of the president of Tufts University who advocated a three-satellite system to be used exclusively for academic purposes, which would cover the entire globe. For the time being that idea is replaced by a linked system of web pages. Wireless may be the only way to provide an adequate virtual library to poor and isolated parts of the world and in 2006 Google and other services were beginning the processof digitalizing the world's librarie.s.
Arthur C. Clarke, in a lecture at the at the University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka where he was chancellor, said that new instruments--sooner than educators expect—are going to empower scholars in the mountains of Asia and in the bush of Africa to do more than use libraries on other continents. Even the smallest and most remote school, even the most isolated researcher, should be able to gain access to information from satellites. Any school can then download from satellite TV to develop a video taped library, built around research interests and needs and indexed according to their own personal or institutional research plans. Former President Duderstadt of the University of Michigan has suggested that such a library will be made available on a satellite as soon as enough material is digitalized. However there are more crucial technological issues. Hawkins (2001) suggested, for example, a new kind of search engine that leads directly to "Web sites, data sets, video clips and other source material deemed to have academic value." He also asks if 'portal technology,' much used now by business corporations in a 'push' technology framework could be used for a "scholar's portal 'to "help screen and filter information, to hone in on , and to effectively push this information to users."
This is mentioned here as a reminder of new possibilities to come with much more powerful technologies.
Copyright Access. In each of these problem areas the laws and procedures differ from country to county. Can a global plan and strategy help solve many of the difficulties ahead? Electronic links can function like footnotes, each like a window or door into the cited document. Can new technologies help solve issues revolving around who owns know contents? In Ted Nelson’s Xanadu-system, small royalty payments could be automatically monitored by the host network, and could be based largely on transmission time. Anyone could create original material and put it on the network with such credit. Serious problems confront even the most sophisticated and advanced libraries and legal, financial and political issues multiply as libraries are linked into a global system. Perhaps some international treaties will have to be negotiated. Some issues will be resolved as a result of experimentation and demonstration, for example, of fee-for-use as a solution to copyright and intellectual property protection.
Costs of Books and Journals. With inflation continuing to increase the cost of printed materials, and with the costs of labor and paper accelerating, even rich schools may by necessity have to turn to electronic materials. E- books will not as often be discarded if they can be updated from year to year for use by the next generation of students. Such electronic materials, easily connected with library systems, can provide ease and efficiency in scholarly work and when text on paper is desired it can be printed out. Libraries then may treat printed books like museum pieces. See digital journals:: <http://www.aace.org/dl/>.
Free Access? As society moves into an information-age “learning society” with huge numbers of research scholars, and with all educated people doing some serious research from time to time, society probably cannot or will not in many countries afford to provide unlimited free time for everyone to use many of these electronic global library services. University tuition charges will provide for a certain amount of free time (more for graduate students) and public libraries will perhaps provide some free time for each borrower as an expansion of the interlibrary loan system. Beyond that, there probably will be charges for continued use of out-of-town databases (not charges for using local CD-ROMs and materials). Since much of the Internet cannot forever be free for reasons explained by Platt (2001), libraries also may not be able to afford to provide free access also. Learners and teachers who can afford to do so might as well by-pass the library to access directly pay data bases they may need to use. A great deal of material can, however, be made available online
Many people worry that the free library concept will be lost and the global electronic system will be available only to an elite. Yet the world s economy cannot thrive until a much higher percentage of the world s population has access to better information. Meanwhile, one proposal at the turn of the century, is being widely debated. The proposal for Public Library of Science envisaged “one, massive, centralized, `free; repository.” (Luce 2000) The proposed idea would be greatly advantageous to scientists in the developing world. ‘One stop’ access would save money and time. However, the Director of the Research Library at Los Alamos National Laboratory points out the `shadow of politics’ that would loom over such a project managed within one country. However, some change is needed in the present complicated `chain’ from author to reader. The process of authoring, editing, peer review, publishing, indexing and distributing is complicated, expensive, and often too slow. So a better alternative may be a decentralized approach--The Open Archives Initiative—which gives authors more control, including the freedom to place their publication wherever they wish. The OAI seeks to create a search-and-retrieve method for finding data wherever it is located, in whatever institution or country.
However the OAI—which still deals with present print-copy methods, may be an interim step towards something more productive for the global virtual library. Increasingly, Luce says, value resides not just in one retrieved paper “but in the relationships between papers, the associated dialog from comments and reviews, updates to the original work, and the ancillary supporting materials.” Web searchers may lead to only a “small portion of this large knowledge space.” To obtain and utilize this complex information will require a new generation of tools that for automated, “self-organizing knowledge on a distributed basis.” The “Active Recommendation Project at Los Alamos, for example, would allow scientists to collaborate across disciplinary lines without needing a new vocabulary. Thus, using new tools, “the emerging adaptive web will analyze and use the collective behavior of communities of users.” Based on the use of others a user would receive recommendations of other articles, data sets and so forth that she or he might otherwise not have found. So. Luce proposes, “perhaps it is time to apply a lesson from biological diversity and simulate our scholarly retrieval system to adapt in a multitude of new ways.” He notes the success of decentralization in the Human Genome project
Disappearing Information and security? Pierce (1990) pointed out that electronic technology “creates a cultural filter” and what does not pass through this filter may be neglected or lost. So who is to control the filter and decide what is to be included? Drexler (1987) worried that electronic books will be erased, as print files and old books disintegrate (acid paper) or are lost along with vide and sound files, computer data sets and simulations. Who is developing long-range global policy on what is to be preserved electronically in libraries? More of a crisis is the fact that digital technology, now used to store information, may become obsolete. A more serious problem. (Note Marcum 2002 on also preserving access to disintegrating books.
Monopoly Control? Judith Turner (1990a) asked whether government or commercial databases will in the future control information. Librarians, she said “would rather let countries on the Pacific Rim control online information in the U.S. than leave it to the publishing industry.” A survey of librarians found that they hope universities will control the information, perhaps forty leading universities creating “the largest online information repository in the world.” Their second choice would be a $5 billion online library that would start with and build upon the Library of Congress. Less popular alternatives would be a rather chaotic segmented system with no standards, a consortium of Asian governments moving into the vacuum, or a worldwide consortium of publishers who establish a worldwide network.
Overload. Many universities need to subscribe to over a hundred thousand printed journals and the numbers are increasing. So there is continuing debate over whether this kind of mushrooming scientific information can and should be provided electronically to save space and funds and to make it more easily searchable. Some faculty and library staff get nostalgic for the old ways; others are frustrated by the sophisticated technology involved in the electronic library. A most important funding question is when and how adequate and affordable software will be developed to transcend such difficulties.
Junk and Hate/evil Publications, Restrictions? Censorship of worthless junk or of any kind? No one yet know what exciting surprises may lie ahead as a result of increasingly powerful computers and technology; for example one may be suggested in Newsweek, Nov. 10, 2993: "the developing capacity at `amazon.com' to "search through millions of book pages to unearth any tidbit is part of a search revolution that will change us all."
A larger view. Who (Google?) , where, when and how is all knowledge to be brought together into a global map, integrated to begin to see the interrelationships of everything to everything? Hawkins (2001) who discussed a knowledge management system concludes with a quotation: "..the library is the means by which" educational institutions will transform themselves into something entirely new. He reminded us that Duderstadt (2000) said that "the real question is not whether education will be transformed, but rather how...and by whom." Will `they' have a vision that includes a universal access in perpetuity, a "guarantee of electronic access "to anyone, not just (for) a chosen few?" (Hawkins 2001) Also there is the question of how to relate to a new generation of students that are very different in relation to technology. (Lippincott 2005) "In a sense, the library may be the most important observation post for studying how students really learn. If the core competency of the university is the capacity to build collaborative spaces, both real and intellectual, then the changing nature of the library may be a touchstone for the changing nature of the university itself." (Duderstadt 2005)
The Future of Higher (Lifelong) Education: For All Worldwide: A Holistic View