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The Digital Book Drive's Left-Behinds

Apr 24, 2009, 16:32 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jack M. Germain)

"In the race to build a universal digital library, many important books and documents are being left behind: special edition books, religious books, historical documents, and books found in small local libraries or in private collections. Left undigitized, the information inside them will fade as the paper deteriorates.

"Despite the best efforts of organizations intent on creating exhaustive digital libraries of all human knowledge, their projects are still too fragmented to produce a reliable, universal, digital repository of all printed goods. Often, corporate decisions and budgetary considerations mean books are left behind.

"Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) More about Google Book Project and Project Gutenberg are two of the more well-known efforts to convert the printed page to a digitally viewable form. Usually, large libraries and university research directors form alliances to take on the challenge of digitizing their own collections. Their 'leave no book behind' mentality is filtering down to smaller businesses with limited revenue, driven by improvements in scanning and storage technologies. This is creating a balance of power, so to speak, that allows those without the reach and capital of Google to join in the digitization movement."

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