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Why We Can't Afford Not to Create a Well-Stocked National Digital Library System

In a guest post on James Fallows blog at The Atlantic, David Rothman makes the case for a national digital library,

"Might the time have finally come for a well-stocked national digital library system (NDLS) for the United States--a cause I've publicly advocated since 1992 in Computerworld, a 1996 MIT Press information science collection, the Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, the Huffington Post, and elsewhere, including my national information stimulus plan here in the Fallows blog? That's the topic of this essay, and many of the same concepts could apply to other countries, including Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Australia, Japan, China, India, Brazil, and various other nations. Perhaps national digital library systems could interconnect, forming a global one. But for simplicity's sake and reasons of self interest, I'll focus here on a digital system for the United States, which, in national digital library planning and execution, lags far behind the diligent Chinese, among others."


This is putting the cart before the horse. Without a national library, or at least a more interconnected systems of librarians across the nation, this is a non sequitur. Form a national library first,then we can worry about a national digital library

That is a good idea but we need start with the publishing industry. The major publishing houses should start publishing books in digital formats then comply with the law by depositing digital books at the National Libraries by so doing the national digital library would have been created without much struggle