Enfilade

Accessing Library Resources in the Digital Age

Posted in resources by Editor on March 13, 2010

Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands

Recently within the context of a discussion at C18-L of J-Stor’s experiments with adding auction catalogs to its collection of resources, the inevitable question surfaced: what about access for people who are not attached to institutions that subscribe to such costly databases? At a time when scholarly materials are increasingly migrating from paper to digital storage formats, it’s a serious concern. The web is undoubtedly opening up tremendous avenues, but often at enormous costs, and for individuals not fortunate enough to benefit from libraries that can absorb such costs, the threat of a digital divide is anything but theoretical. One contributor suggested joining the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB) in The Hague, which provides remote access to the library’s resources, including the subscription databases. I’ve not tried it, but judging from the
information available on the site it seems to be a viable solution.
At just €15/year, it’s certainly affordable. Other ideas? –C.H.