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Slide 13 of 16

The Library, or the Internet?

It's not an either/or. The library and the Internet need to coexist because they each have something to offer. As a matter of fact, the combination of the library and the Internet can give us a great information system.

Libraries have always had a hard time providing access to very up-to-date or fast-changing information. There is information that changes so often that you can't even get it to paper - thus our reliance on radio and television for news and weather. Computer systems are ideal for this kind of information. Over the Internet we can distribute updated copies of all of the bills in Congress in their very latest markup, as we do today on Congress' Thomas system. We can see weather satellite photos that are only minutes old.

The library can provide the context and background for the current events that are delivered over the computer. The library and the Internet need to be connected by their own hyperlinks that allow users to move from the latest news to the many centuries of history and thought that have preceded this moment.