Detail map of Palo Alto, California, United States Overview map of Palo Alto, California, United States

A: Palo Alto, California, United States

Situational Aspects of Electronic Libraries in 1993


At Stanford's Green Library and Xerox PARC on December 21, 1993 Vicky Reich and Mark Weiser described proposed electronic features of the "national information infrastructure" in a paper entitled"Libraries are More than Information: Situational Aspects of Electronic Libraries", Serials Review, 20 (1994) 31-37. All references cited in this paper were to printed publications.


"A new national information infrastructure (Nil) is inevitable. Many papers have been written on the technical and economic issues that are part of creating this infrastructure. The issues dealt with are usually those of gathering, storing, and retrieving the information; or distributing it; or charging for it; or preserving the intellectual property rights of the creators, distributors, and users of the information. A national information infrastructure, though, is not just about information.

"The United States has a national information infrastructure today. The wire services, the newspapers, the radio and television broadcast systems, and the national telephone system all provide a national grid of information. More importantly from the point of view of large, reliable, distributed information systems, our national information infrastructure today consists of tens of thousands of public and school libraries all across the country. These libraries are in nearly every elementary, junior high, and high school; and they are in nearly every community, even the very small. 1 In the long run, it is these widely scattered and local community information sources that will be strongly affected by the Nil. For instance, already many community public libraries are networked via the FreeNet system...."

Timeline Themes