This week I am focusing my attentions on public libraries and how they effected history. Something I quickly found was that the Boston library is often considered the first real public library in America. It opened in 1854 and came out with a statement of purpose which describes many philosophies which I believe could be modified and made to be the statement of purpose for the internet. Major points of this statement are:
- There's a close linkage between knowledge and right thinking;
- The future of democracy is contingent on an educated citizenry;
- There's a strong correlation between the public library movement and public education; and
- Every citizen has the right of free access to community-owned resources.
In the 1890s Melvil Dewey took libraries to a new level as president of ALA(American Library Association). When running for this office his slogan was, "the best reading for the largest number at the least cost." His chief desire was to standardize and organize everything the library had to offer. It would be interesting to have Melvil Dewey back and to see what he would do with the internet. When I start searching for things on the internet I often feel that I am in an unorganized library. Stacks and stacks of knowledge everywhere with only a few ways to shift through and find what matters and what can be trusted. Is there any way to catalog the entire internet? I have no idea but I know there are some people out there with ideas. By the time I am old and grey maybe the internet will be well organized and straight forward and we will all wonder how we ever found anything of use before.