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Frederick Lancaster Issues a Printed Book Entitled "Toward Paperless Information Systems"

Cover of Lancaster Toward Paperless Information Systems
Creative Commons LicenseJeremy Norman Collection of Images - Creative Commons

In 1978 British American information scientist F[rederick] W[ilfrid] Lancaster, of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, published a book printed on paper entitled Toward Paperless Information Systems.  At the time, printing on paper was, of course, the only way to distribute a long document efficiently.

"And what about libraries and librarians? Will they exist in the future in the same way as in the past? Will libraries gradually 'wither away' as only retrospective material in the sciences is available in paper form? Will librarians become deinstitutionalized entrepreneurs of information, brokers on their own, offering pay-as-you-go services? What will happen during the intermediary period to the brave new world? Neither Lancaster nor this reviewer know, of course, but that the world is moving in the direction of a paperless society, with all that implies for archival records, changes in occupations, and societal pressures, seems very evident now" (Review by Estelle Brodman, . 1979 Oct; 67(4): 437–439.)

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