James Billington: Meet Mr. Cybrarian
Credit: Thomas Reis
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Once a cybrarian, always a cybrarian: James Billington, head of the Library of Congress, continues to champion the National Digital Library Program as a way to make vast amounts of knowledge readily available to the public -- and to classrooms. Now, more than eleven million items on the LOC's American Memory Web site are available for teachers, and educators in seven states are collaborating with LOC staff to integrate these collections into K-12 curricula.
Billington also conceived of a new international project called the World Digital Library, administered by the LOC through UNESCO, that seeks to bridge the gap between U.S. collections and those around the globe.
From digitizing perishable materials to creating Digital Talking Books for the blind, he and others at the LOC are well aware of the opportunities technology offers education. According to Billington, we are witnessing "the greatest revolution in the generation and communication of knowledge since the advent of the printing press. If we take steps now to collect, preserve, and make accessible this knowledge, we will leave to our descendants an invaluable legacy."
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