Three Hundred Years Since the Statute of Anne, from 1709 to Cyberspace
Edited by Lionel Bently, Uma Suthersanen and Paul Torremans
Chapter 13: Phoenixes in the Internet Era – The Changing Role of Libraries
13. Phoenixes in the internet era – the changing role of libraries Dame Lynne J. Brindley* 1 INTRODUCTION In my contribution entitled phoenixes in the internet era – the changing role of libraries – I hope to address some of the key issues for libraries in the Internet Age, and how our functions are adapting to the demands of all things digital. I will suggest the need for changes to copyright regimes to ensure that great libraries can indeed continue their enduring purpose, revitalised as the digital library rapidly becomes a reality. I am not an expert in copyright, and I am thus particularly indebted to my expert colleague Ben White for his input to this contribution. For those of you not familiar with the British Library let me start by sharing with you a little about this great institution. As well as being the UK’s national library, the British Library is one of the world’s great research libraries. The Library’s physical collection includes some 150 million items, in most known languages. Three million new items are incorporated every year, and the print collections continue to grow at around 12.5 linear kilometres or eight miles per annum. Alongside books and journals, we hold maps, newspapers, magazines, drawings, music scores, sound recordings and patents. To get some idea of scale, were you to view five items each day, it would take you 80,000 years to see the whole collection! In addition we are now ingesting, licensing and digitising many terabytes of digital content,...
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