World Wide Web Digital Library System

C. W. Tazewell cwt at
Sat Mar 2 14:02:18 EST 1996

          A Two-Way Window for the World's Information
        The typical Internet user does not have the time,
        patience, or skill to "surf the Web."  He needs
        things organized in a convenient place to save him
        time and frustration.  Most would not need to go
        any further than his local digital library.
     The Tazewell Plan for The WWW Digital Library System could
be in place by the year 2000.
     Theoretically (but only in theory) all Web Sites could be
linked at one master worldwide WWW site.  Obviously, this would
overburden long-distance circuits.
         The Emergence of the Regional Digital Library
     The World Central WWW Digital Library Site would be
mirrored to Regional Digital Libraries.  A large country would
have a number of Regional Digital Library sites, and some
countries would only have one, or be served by a nearby one.
     To supplement this there would be metropolitan/community
digital libraries in each local area.  They would have the most
important function of providing local data and information to the
rest of the world.  They would also bring in the rest of the
world through links to the nearest Regional Digital Library.
                Two-way Window to the World
      The local digital library will be a 2-way window to the
world.  It will bring in material from all parts of the planet. 
But, importantly, it will furnish the local info to the rest of
the world.  It will be the main source for disseminating this
local info.  This local data must be in a central place so it
will be readily available to the rest of the globe.
     Thus, anyone in the world would be able to get almost all of
the material that they wanted from their local metropolitan or
community digital library.  This would be the basic framework of
the world wide system.
             Home Pages Building Block for System
     The basic building block for the worldwide system will be be
individual home pages of each business, school, and organization. 
These would be linked at the metropolitan digital library.  It
would be setup so that various sections of the home pages on
specific subjects can be selected and accessed or linked
     The metropolitan digital library would not normally be the
repository of data and information.  This material would be at
home pages of the various organizations and other sources.  This
arrangement would be necessary for updatng the material, which
would be handled at the source home page.
     Each person would have his local digital library as his
browser home page.  Generally people would not have to go any
farther than this home page since he could point to all the links
on the local digital library which would include the links on the
major Regional Digital Library, which would mirror the primary
world-wide center site.
     Bear in mind that by 2000 many homes and business will have
a 24-hour connection to the local digital library over a
fiber-optic cable.  This would give full TV and other multimedia
service from the local digital library.
                  Why Drive? - Just Click!
     Now library users drive to their traditional library to
check out video tapes.  Then they will be able to access or
download them from the digital library.  Traditional libraries
now receive magazines electronically from The Internet by
Information Access Infotrac 2000 Magazines ASAP, and/or by CD
ROM.  These will be available thru the local digital library.
     The local digital library will be a primary source of
multimedia data, news, information and services of all kinds.  It
will serve everybody - business, the professionals, schools,
students, and the public.
     The ultimate result must be convenient and easy to use.  The
WWW has tremenduous possibilities, but needs a dedicated and
knowledgeable person to use it effectively.  The average person
doesn't have the time, patience, or interest to become an expert
Web Surfer.  The Internet needs to be as much as possible like
the present TV remote control - point, click and go.  The local
Digital Library is the answer.
     Soon the Internet and other online services will be part of
the entertainment, work or study center, which will include
complete integration of the present TV, stereo, VCR, etc.  These
will all work thru the home and business microcomputer.
               The Dim Future of the University
     Professor Eli M. Noam of Columbia University spoke at a
seminar at George Washington University on "Electronics and the
Dim Future of the University" and discussed the several
fundamental challenges to the future of universities as the
centers of research and higher education. He mentioned that the
growth of electronic media and communication has provided new
tools for academics, but also poses new challenges. 
     He explained that one result of the rapid increase in the
production and dissemination of information is that the advantage
of physical proximity of researchers to universities is
diminished.  "The strength of the university of the future may lie
less in being pure centers of information and more in college as
a community."
          Billions for the Internet in Every Classroom
     Who are the kids going to "point" to?  There has to be a
suitable, simple, easy to access place.  It has been stated that
"the control center of the future school would be the media
center."  The local digital library will be the community "media
center" for all schools.
     The University has always been the keystone and leader of
the education efforts.  But Distance Learning and other concepts
based on electronic media are radidly changing things.
     We should now consider the changing role of educational
institutions and the emerging roles of the metropolitan digital
library.  We are all interested in and concerned about education
and libraries of the future.  And, it is important to share views
and ideas on the Library of the Future.
     There is a need for setting up pilot projects leading
towards the 24-hour fiber-optic digital, virtual library concept. 
The Hampton Roads Central Library is a prototype of the
21st-century Digital Library.
               Jack and Jill - and Little Joe
     I don't know of any existing online library that earnestly
tries to serve Jack and Jill Citizen, and little Joe - except The
Hampton Roads Central Library.  It is a prototype of the public
digital library.  It is a library of the future for the people.   
     As there are more and more local Internet providers, and
more and more local information is placed on Web Sites, it will
be harder and harder to find the stuff.  (There are almost two
dozen local providers in the Hampton Roads area now.)  Bits and
pieces of info and data will be hidden (or duplicated) here and
             YOUR Internet World Wide Web HOTLIST
                     Public Bookmark Center
                       Why hunt the Web?
              It's on your local digital library.
     Businessmen, investers, and travel prospects (as examples)
in Russia, Australia, South Africa, Kansas, etc., etc., will want
info on Hampton Roads and Virginia.  They won't know about the
little pieces of info "treasure" hidden here and there, and won't
have the time or interest to hunt for it. 
     The local information and data must be consolidated in a
central place locally so the world (and we) can find it.
     Also, there is the problem of a suitable archives for local
info.  Valuable data placed on a site for a short while and then
removed and not available from then on is not the answer.
     The local area digital library will effectively serve all
aspects of education - and the public.  The local area digital
library can serve everybody in the local area without extensive
duplication at each institution.  "You don't drive to it; you
point to it."  It will save time, gas and money, just as other
forms of Distance Learning.
     The cherished morsels of info and data in various local
sites must be linked to the Digital Library where they can be
easily found and used.  And, it will be better to have one good
info and data bank than a number of duplicating, incomplete and
inaccessable ones.  And, time is wasted duplicating local info
that's also on another site.  Gotta be able to find it.
                 Hold on to your hat!
     The library world is changing very rapidly.  The U. S.
Postal Service is setting up information "library" kiosks.  There
will soon be branch library kiosks in the malls.  I understand
that the University of California is building a university campus
without a library building.  Distance Learning will be used
off-campus increasingly by universities, colleges, and high
schools, etc.
     As the years go by the public schools and public libraries
will become more and more community centers.
             Gotta Be Able To Find It - Easily
     The ulitimate users of the information on the World Wide Web
and in digital libraries will be the general public.  The average
citizen must have a suitable source for his information with
extremely easy access.  It should be "point, click and go."
     For more about digital libraries, visit the Professional
Librarians' Sections.  Use the Staff Entrance over by the soda
machines and restrooms.
     Let's go to work!

                   The Hampton Roads Central Library
               (You don't drive to it; you point to it.)
                  Your *REASON* to have the Internet
Digital Library of Hampton Roads           E A S Y  L I N K S
Front Entrance                              Your WWW Hotlist

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