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online libraries

It's great to see so many online libraries and different organisations such as archive.org and google running digitization projects. I've spent so much money over the years on technical books and general reading books, which, the tech books in particular, are out of date quickly that I've often felt I have wasted some of my money on them. Since starting the new job (well over a year ago now, so not so new), and having to travel more, I've been using some of the online libraries - partcularly Questia, Safari (tech books) online and archive.org. The blogosphere and online libraries reminds me of the Neal Stephenson book "Snow Crash" - the citizen journalist, uploading of information & media for future references, online libraries. The future is happening!

I'm currently reading a couple of books - an online copy of Dan Gillmor's "We the Media" and a paperback by Patrick Neate called Where you're at - Notes from the frontline of a Hip Hop Planet. Gillmor reminded me of the google print project which was what started this post. I still enjoy reading paper copies of books - there's nothing like reading in bed on a rainy day, or a weekend, but I like the idea of online versions also. One of the main reason's for this, is that I can search for books I have bought and read them even whilst I'm away and not have to pay excess baggage to carry all the books with me. Before I head back to the UK, I'll drop off the books in Sydney and note down their names so I can either borrow them from local libraries or read online versions. Local libraries! I've had a resurgance in using these also! When I was in primary school I remember we were always in the library looking for books for class assignments. Once I started making money I began to buy the books instead of using the library. I've come full circle again, as I'm enjoying heading to the Auckland City Library. They have a great collection of arts and culture books. I have a friend who used to take his recording equipment (laptop/MD) into the library and dub some audio from the archived films and tapes for samples to use in his music. Perhaps I should check out the media collection at the Auckland library - I'm sure they'd have some great Maori language and local speeches which would be interesting to hear. Maybe even footage of the Rainbow Warrior.. Any way, time to go read some more ... :)

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