Massive Scale Librarianship

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“Massive Scale Librarianship” Plenary Presentation, Charleston Conference, Charleston, SC.
Thursday, November 9th, 2006

Abstract: There are two types of discontinuities faced by a field: those you expect, and those that you don’t. The Internet was an unexpected event in librarianship. Few could look at the early days of telnet, gopher, and even the web and truly appreciate its impact on libraries. Yet even so, library science has adapted. Not always elegantly, not always completely, but adapted. Unlike the Internet that had a largely unexpected impact, very large scale computing is an obvious coming challenge. We know computing power, storage and bandwidth are going to increase. Knowing this, it is incumbent upon the library and information science field to consider what is a world like where you can walk around with the entire contents of the Internet in your pocket.