Ever since the 1990s it’s been the case that people have less and less need to head straight for the local library to find references to use for a school report. Resources at home were usually sketchy before that time – if you were lucky enough you would have a 20+ volume encyclopedia you could browse through and find relevant but somewhat dated information. However, even the libraries had their limits, and information wasn’t always at the tips of your fingers.
Things have drastically changed today. Our access to quality information is more widespread, instant and effortless today. All we need to do is search for information online. Be it a book, video, DVD or audiobook, any type of information product can be retrieved and accessed through online libraries.
This website lets you search for titles in a number of libraries worldwide and offers you access to them online. It also has a feature for recommending nearby libraries that have the title you’re looking for. The website collaborates with a worldwide library network to ensure there are enough resources for whatever a person is looking for.
Something like the Google of libraries, WorldCat provides resources (some free, others requiring library subscription/membership) to about 71,000 libraries in more than 100 countries. WorldCat provides easy and quick access to valuable information, sparing you the need to visit local libraries.
Everybody’s Libraries is a blog run by John Mark Ockerbloom, digital library planner and researcher at the University of Pennsylvania. Ockerbloom is also the developer of an online book catalogue which indexes over 1 million books available free online.
The rationale behind Everybody’s Libraries and the Online Books Page is that books and information should be easy to access online, as well as free of charge. Information access in the 21st century is gradually becoming a streamlined process that’s decidedly democratic. These two online book indexing services allow us to easily gain access to knowledge reliably, quickly, and electronically.
Libraries are no longer independent hubs of information, because the Internet makes it possible for these knowledge banks to connect with each other and form an infinite network of information people can access to educate themselves.