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Library Trends 57 (1) Summer 2008: Digital Books and the Impact on Libraries


Library Trends 57 (1) Summer 2008: Digital Books and the Impact on Libraries. Edited by Peter Brantley

In the last few years, books have energetically joined smaller niches of content in the digital uplift of the twenty-first century. Part of this sudden transition was the development of imaging systems that permitted individuals and companies to digitize at a pace never previously imagined. Technology, as it so often does, turned in part from facilitator to catalyst.

Yet technology never determines applications, and it was the release of Google’s vision for a searchable online repository for the world’s printed books that ignited the imagination of countless people and organizations, with a dollop of uncertainty on the part of every principal involved: authors, whose intellectual creations became suddenly transformed into a binary index; publishers, who wondered what role in distribution they would have in a visible future where Amazon and Google could surface their most valuable assets; libraries, who wondered if there would be a role for anything beyond warehousing print books gathering dust on shelves; and scholars, who worried about the quality of the book’s online presence while exulting in the new capacities to find information, and combine it with a heterogeneity of sources never before imagined. (from the introduction)

Library Trends (ISSN 0024-2594) is an essential tool for librarians and educators alike. Each issue thoroughly explores a current topic of interest in professional librarianship and includes practical applications, thorough analyses, and literature reviews. The journal is published quarterly for the Graduate School of Library and Information Science by The Johns Hopkins University Press. For subscription information, call 800-548-1784 (410-516-6987 outside the U.S. and Canada), email jlorder [at], or visit

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