The Google Economy Vs. Libraries

Roger over at Electric Forest is making some arguments about the value of open access to information. Hopefully he’ll forgive me for my edit of his comment (though readers check the original to make sure I preserved the original meaning):

…keep the [information] under heavy protection and you will find that people ignore this sheltered content in favor of the sources that embrace the web and make everything accessible… [Open and accessible resources] will become the influential authorities, not because they are more trustworthy, or more authoritative, or better written, but because they are more accessible.

I’ve been calling this the “Google Economy,” where the value of information is directly proportional to its accessibility. This is a foreign land to libraries, where isolation and division of information is the norm (just count the number of unrelated search boxes linked on your library site), but it’s something I see a few people working to overcome. Kudos to Roger and others for a lot of great work.

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