Brewster Kahle is building an Internet Archive which aims to offer universal access:
‘…a Library of Congress for the 21st century built through private philanthropy and sweat equity…’
…How libraries endure was on Kahle’s mind when I visited the Archive in San Francisco’s Richmond District earlier this year. “What happens to libraries is that they’re burned,” he said. “They are generally burned by governments. The Library of Congress, for instance, has already been burned once, by the Brits. So if that’s what happens, well, design for it, make copies.”
You can’t step in the same river twice, and much of our stored knowledge can be gone in the blink of an eye.
Cloud computing seems poised to shake things up, but backup plans are welcome, and Kahle seems motivated to think about where technology and library science are meeting. He discusses his scanning centers and bookmobiles which are getting books cheaply into the hands of people who may never have held them before: