Na análise histórica:
In the mid-1990s the US National Science Foundation launched a digital libraries research programme […] digital libraries were fashionable, they were well-funded, they generated great interest during the great ‘dot-com’ bubble, and they were frankly sometimes threatening (and sometimes deliberately used as a way of threatening) research libraries in the US – if these libraries were not on the road to becoming digital libraries, they were backwaters, obsolete, ‘book museums’; they were in danger of being supplanted or overtaken by commercial competitors. Much of this was, to be blunt, complete rubbish, at least in the near term, but the development of these information management and retrieval systems that were called ‘digital libraries’ and the confusion between these and what actual libraries as organisations do, and the systems that they might use to accomplish those missions, gave rise to a major problem in public perception.
So what has happened to the digital library? At least as I define digital libraries, what happened was that we realised that they are just tools, a bundle of technologies and engineering techniques – that find applications in a surprisingly wide range of settings beyond higher education and research. They are now providing essential services in many areas of commerce and professional practice – for example, law (a very early adopter with Westlaw and Lexis), medicine, finance, etc.
E por fim o que parece ser o estado da arte:
We are in the middle of a very large-scale shift. The nature of that shift is that we are at last building a real linkage between research libraries and the new processes of scholarly communication and scholarly practice, as opposed to just repackaging existing products and services of the traditional scholarly publishing system and the historic research library. In this shift we have left the debate about digital libraries behind, recognising this now as simply shorthand for just one set of technologies and systems among many that are likely to be important.
Na biografia sobre os anos 90:
- From Gutenberg to the Global Information Infrastructure: Access to Information in the Networked World, Christine L. Borgman, MIT Press, 2000. See in particular Chapter 2.
- “Digital Libraries and the Problem of Purpose“. D-Lib Magazine, 6 (1), (January 2000), David Levy. Available at http://www.dlib.org/
- Digital Library Use: Social Practice in Design and Evaluation, Ann Peterson Bishop, Nancy A. Van House and Barbara P. Buttenfield (eds.), MIT Press, 2003.
In: “Research Libraries Engage the Digital World: A US-UK Comparative Examination of Recent History and Future Prospects” Clifford A. Lynch
08-February-2006, Ariadne Issue 46