1 Libraries, Technology, and People This is a fascinating period in the history of libraries and publishing. For the first time, it is possible to build large-scale services where collections of information are stored in digital formats and retrieved over networks. The materials are stored on computers. A network connects the computers to personal computers on the users’ desks. In a completely digital library, noth- ing need ever reach paper. This book provides an overview of this new field. Partly it is about tech- nology, but equally it is about people and organizations. Digital libraries bring together facets of many disciplines, and experts with different back- grounds and different approaches. The book describes the contributions of these various disciplines and how they interact. It discusses the people who create information and the people who use it—their needs, motives, and economic incentives. It analyzes the profound changes that are occurring in publishing and libraries. It describes research into new technology, much of it based on the Internet and the World Wide Web. Among the topics are technical aspects of computers and networks, librarianship and publishing, economics, and law. The constant theme is change, with its social, organi- zational, and legal implications. One book cannot cover all these topics in depth, and much has been left out or described at an introductory level. Most of the examples come from the United States, with prominence given to universities and the academic community; however, the development of digital libraries is worldwide, with contributions coming from many sources. Specialists in big American universities are not the only develop- ers of digital libraries, though they are major contributors. There is a wealth and diversity of innovation in almost every discipline, in countries around the world.