Internet "collection development"

Ed Cherry cecherry at
Fri Jul 11 16:37:47 EDT 1997

On Fri, 11 Jul 1997 10:48:48 -0700 Robert Hubsher 
<rhubsher at> wrote:

> I agree that the Internet is not a book, however, I still believe that
> it can be compared to an encyclopedia.  
You may be on to something.  Perhaps the ideal _index_ to the 
internet would be like an encyclopedia.  The good encyclopedias 
have cross references to related articles (internal links), 
bibliographies (external links), time lines (alternative 
visioning tools), yearbooks (what's new? what's old? what's hot? 
what's cold?), etc.  But the internet itself is much more than 
"just" an encyclopedia.

I think the internet has the _potential_ to be more like a 
library than a book, an encyclopedia, or just about anything 
else we can compare it to.  There are monographs, periodicals, 
multimedia collections, ephemera, and more. Actually, it may be 
more like a system or consortium of libraries.  You could have a 
science library, undergraduate library, public library, and so 
forth.  You don't find Robin Cook's novels in the medical 
library.  There is an appropriate place for cookbooks and for 
legal treatises. All of these collections of collections are 
organized according to their own (sometimes idiosyncratic) 
standards, but most important, they are organized.  And, it takes
someone other than the authors or publishers to do the 

* Ed Cherry             *                              *
* Automation Librarian  * Phone:  (205) 870-2506       *
* Davis Library         * Fax:    (205) 870-2642       *
* Samford University    * E-Mail: cecherry at *
* Birmingham, AL  35229 *                              *
The main object of religion is not to get a man into 
heaven--but to get heaven into him.        -Thomas Hardy 

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