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Fonte: NYT


Um artigo de Natasha Singer que refere a importância das tradicionais bibliotecas públicas na educação e democratização da sociedade americana e o papel equivalente que podem ter, hoje, as bibliotecas digitais. Actualmente, é a Europa e o Japão quem lidera a tendência para a digitalização dos respectivos patrimónios culturais:

(...) Looking back on the project decades later, Franklin wrote in his autobiography that the growth of lending libraries had played a role not only in educating but also in democratizing American society.

“These Libraries,” he wrote, “have improv’d the general Conversation of the Americans, made the common Tradesmen & Farmers as intelligent as most Gentlemen from other countries, and perhaps have contributed to some degree to the Stand so generally made throughout the Colonies in Defence of their Privileges.”

Lending libraries may have been the newfangled democratizing factor of their day. Centuries later, though, the United States finds itself trailing Europe and Japan in creating the modern equivalent: a national digital library that would serve as an electronic repository for the nation’s cultural heritage.

In other words, there’s a real digital library divide.(...)

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