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August 2021

Libraries and imagination at the dawn of the World Wide Web

Journal/Book: Libri. 2000; 50: Ortlerstr 8, D-81373 Munich, Germany. K G Saur Verlag Kg. 137-156.

Abstract: This article traces discussions from 1991 to 1994 about the impact of the World Wide Web on libraries. Librarians and other information professionals commented about the Web's potential as a tool for organizing and using materials on the Internet in print journals devoted to library science, in periodicals about computing trends, and in online media such as discussion lists. Evaluation of the Web took place in the context of interest in Internet Gopher, WAIS and similar applications, and the wish to simplify access to online information. Librarians reading about the Web at that time encountered two schools of thought. Some Visionaries hoped that the Internet would free researchers from relying on intermediaries, including librarians. Practical-minded librarians, on the other hand, emphasized organizing the Internet as a service to readers. Both camps saw potential value in the World Wide Web. By 1994, librarians were experimenting with specific Web-based projects to organize digital information, improve online searching, guide users, and publish texts online. Libraries were soon using Web-related software to fulfill traditional missions in the new online environment.

Note: Article Sowards SW, Michigan State Univ Lib, 100 Lib, E Lansing,MI 48824 USA

Keyword(s): INTERNET


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