Scanning Robots For Libraries
from the get-me-that-book,-now dept
I remember spending quite a lot of time in the library when I was at school looking stuff up. I was recently wondering how much time students today spend at the library, and how much they simply look up on the web. Of course, the web doesn’t have nearly as much published information, and also has very little information that’s not recent. According to this NY Times article, some folks are working on ways to correct that, by creating special library robots that find and scan materials for patrons. So, you could log in to the library from your computer, request a certain book chapter, and the robot would find the book, scan the pages, and send it on to you. Of course, this brings up all sorts of copyright questions, and publisher groups (who, in the past have tried to ban libraries for stealing intellectual property) will flip out. I imagine that instead of embracing this technology that will help people perform vital research that will increase the community of ideas, we’ll be forced to waste away through many years of lawsuits before these systems ever become usable.