“The Digital Evolution” has always struck me as a rather quaint and silly phrasing. Of course people who coined it were mostly focused on the term digital in technology, not digits as in fingers. Or as the Webster Dictionary would say.
digit a count of numbers 0 – 9, fingers or toes. The link is lot more intensive of course.
digital showing time with numbers instead of minute and hour hands. Also more intensive meanings at the site.
Now take those words and add it with the word, Library. Granted, Digital can and does mean the collection of information by means of 01 and 00 (for now). And a library is indeed a collection of information at its most basic service. So if one was to break it down to the bear digits, the digital library would make logical digital sense in providing information in the most proficient way to the masses. Or is it?
I have been a lover of books since before I can remember. Vivid stories of how I tried to bury my baby brother at age 4 in a well intended idea of letting him see all the books we had (he was in the baby buggy and Mom had stepped out of the room for just a moment while I lovingly place Golden Books all over him like a blanket. Such cute stories like that can’t happen with digital books… Collections of books on your reading pad can be fun, great to read where ever you go. I loved having digital books for college, oh the weight they saved me of carrying around. I also however loved to walk between the walls of bounded paper, muffling the consent vibrations of people, to touch the manuscripts of research from authors now long gone, but live on to pass on their wisome. Let’s face it, not all knowledge is fresh and twenty seconds ago. Someone has to research archives. Yet digital libraries around the world can widen access to libraries like nothing else as long as the technology accessibility also follows. Technology like the printing press revolutionized civilization and greatly equalized access to knowledge. Digital access can do the same. I suspect however, just as there are still old printing presses and cherished books and manual type and hand bound books, so will there be some libraries with treasured tomes kept in storage for the elite. Once again books will become the rare treasure of the few, but the information within them, will become more of the masses than Gutenberg could have ever dreamed. It is a digit al evolution, indeed.