Come hear Brewster Kahle, founder of The Internet Archive (IA), discuss a project that will let every US library to become a digital library. The Internet Archive, working with library partners and organizations serving the print disabled, proposes bringing 4 million books online, through purchase or digitization, starting with the books most widely held and used in libraries and classrooms. Our plan includes at-scale circulation of these e-books, enabling libraries owning the physical works to lend digital copies to their patrons. IA has already bought eBooks and digitized 2 million public domain volumes, making them widely accessible to everyone. But IA makes only 540,000 modern books now widely available.
The Internet Archive intends to build out its collection with 4 million more books to become the digital equivalent of great US public library. This project will fill a crucial gap: books published post-1923, where large swaths of knowledge are missing online. IA will synchronize this digital collection with local library catalogs, through library management systems. The resulting circulation service will enable participating libraries owning the physical works to replace them with lendable digital copies if they so choose. This will enable thousands of libraries to unlock their analog collections for a new generation of learners, enabling free, long-term, public access to knowledge.
This Internet Archive project has been selected as one of the eight semifinalists in the 100&Change MacArthur Foundation Challenge which will provide $100 million over five years to the selected grantee. Brewster and other staff IA staff will describe the current state of project planning and listen to your feedback to ensure this project has transformative impact on the communities you serve.