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Libraries, Books, and the Digital Future


This chapter highlights the goals of the New Digital Public Library, which it contextualizes in terms of the transformation over time of the library’s purpose. Focusing in particular on the goal of open access, Darnton emphasizes how our own era of digitization has enabled the growth of user communities across the world. Noting that publishing monopolies, which control 42 percent of the academic market, threaten to limit or even preclude such developments, the chapter concludes with suggestions on how such limitations might be countered.

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  1. 1.

    This chapter derives from a lecture delivered at the Boston Public Library on October 5, 2017, to inaugurate the conference on Libraries and the Archives in the Digital Age held at Boston University during the following two days. Because of its original format, it does not include footnotes and is relatively informal in tone.

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Correspondence to Robert Darnton .

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Darnton, R. (2020). Libraries, Books, and the Digital Future. In: Mizruchi, S. (eds) Libraries and Archives in the Digital Age. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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