Absence of a plan
Oya Rieger has produced a very useful and mercifully brief report for the Council on Library and Information Resources. She quickly brings us up to speed on the various large-scale digitization initiatives, reviews who the key players are and reveals, alas, that libraries are followers not leaders in these initiatives. Moreover, she also highlights the lack of a national plan for digital preservation and the myopic lack of coordination across libraries. Particularly revealing was the evidence of the sweeping aside of the meticulous but laborious curatorial plans concocted by librarians. In order to achieve the efficiencies required by the commercial partners who, of necessity, wished to measure success in years and not decades or centuries, These prior plans were greatly simplified and curatorial judgement replaced by broad and blunt heuristics. The report ends with a number of useful suggestions, many of which will require significant changes in the sociology of library stewardship.