Externalities of the Digital Library

By:
Dr. Lowell Lybarger
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At the dawn of the Digital Age, few library and information specialists imagined the revolutionary changes that would occur when computers entered libraries and subsequently, when libraries entered computers. On the surface, it appears that a majority of librarians view the automation and digitization of libraries as positive developments for information retrieval, access and availability, storage and preservation, resource sharing and labor costs. Yet hidden from such progress is a host of negative externalities that remains absent in the discourse on digital libraries. The concept of digital or virtual libraries is "virtual" in the scholarly literature as there appear to be almost no examples of scholarship that recognize its physical, material basis. This paper is an attempt to address the potentially disastrous consequences of the digitization of traditional, analog resources in libraries in the twenty-first century.


Keywords: Digital Library, Virtual Library, Climate Change, Resource Depletion, Peak Oil, Blackout, Electricity, Coal, Carbon Dioxide
Stream: Libraries
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: , , , , , Externalities of the Digital Library


Dr. Lowell Lybarger

Music/Multimedia Librarian, Ross Pendergraft Library, Arkansas Tech University
Russellville, Arkansas, USA

Lowell Lybarger holds an MA in ethnomusicology from the University of Washington, an MLIS from Kent State University, and a PhD in musicology from the University of Toronto. His PhD dissertation is an ethnography of the tabla players of Pakistani Panjab for which research was supported by the Fulbright Program and Pakistan National Council of Arts. After completing his MLIS degree in December 2006, Lowell became the technical consultant and archivist for a preservation project at Radio-Television Afghanistan, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. In January 2007, Lowell was a visiting professor at the National College of Arts where he taught courses in musicology, library instruction, information literacy, and music technology. Lowell Lybarger now resides in Russellville, Akansas where he has accepted employment as a music/multimedia librarian at Arkansas Tech University.

Ref: B07P0133