Thursday, March 1, 2012
"Tron" as metaphor for the digital library
There's one other problem that digital libraries encounter that's worth noting here. Creating a digital library within a traditional library space throws into sharp relief the knowledge silos that exist there. They didn't particularly matter before, every person performed their separate function and it was enough to point in the general direction of a physical resource, because you would probably be able to find it. But the digital library brings together disparate roles, condensing them into a project that requires unprecedented precision, because computers demand it. In response to this, either everyone involved endeavours to develop a holistic understanding of all relevant institutional inter-relationships, or one person or department has to take on this responsibility. The latter introduces an instituional divide: instead of the integrated library that contains digital content and analogue linked together and fully amalgamated, we get two libraries - one digital, one traditional - with the digital element a 'bolt-on' or supplement, which may not be the best outcome for growth and sustainability, adding limited value to library collections as a whole.