Are libraries as we know them headed toward extinction? In this YouTube commentary, Truthstream Media discusses the fact that many libraries — particularly those connected with universities and research institutions — are scanning their stacks and making the books available only by digital access.
To aid in this endeavor, they’ve formed a coalition called the HaithiTrust Digital Library which, with the help of Google, is busy scanning millions of book titles.
The problem is, as they switch to digital books, some libraries are refusing to allow access to their physical copies of the books. What’s worse, as they digitize their books, many institutions are closing down public access to the digital libraries.
The restrictions are such that Truthstream Media compares them to real-life book burnings, where the possibility exists that, as physical copies disappear, information in the digital copies could change to a point where it no longer resembles what was in the physical copies. One problem exacerbating this issue is that people are already finding errors in the Google-scanned books. For example, a scholar studying 400 random Google-scanned books found that an error rate of 36%.
What’s worse, if the physical books are not accessible or no longer exist, what happens if the digital copies suddenly become lost? Will you ever be able retrieve them — or will the information that was in them simply disappear forever?