Really Modern Library Brainstorming

Over at if:book, Ben Vershbow writes about a set of brainstorming sessions about how to kickstart thinking about a "Really Modern Library" (something I have thought about some as part of the Google Book Search team). From the post:
Over the course of this month, starting Thursday in Los Angeles, we're holding a series of three invited brainstorm sessions (the second in London, the third in New York) with an eclectic assortment of creative thinkers from the arts, publishing, media, design, academic and library worlds to better wrap our minds around the problems and sketch out some concrete ideas for intervention.
The goal of this project is to shed light on the big questions about future accessibility and usability of analog culture in a digital, networked world.

An interesting project that will no doubt come up with some useful ideas but...
for reasons both practical and political, we've considered restricting this contest to the public domain
Of course I understand that it may be easier to deal with all of the other issues they've identified without adding copyright (for one thing, they would have to add some lawyers to their eclectic assortment of thinkers) but I worry that their focus on the public domain means that the "Really Modern Library" will be missing any way to discover "Really Modern" books.
Still I wish them well and look forward to hearing the results of their discussions. One of the really good things that our announcement almost three years ago helped to do in encouraging reaction to it is increase the focus on digitization and the next generation of libraries. We weren't the only ones, or the first and didn't claim that we were trying to change what a library is, but I think we have been useful in helping raise the profile of the discussion.

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