Christian Long

Brewster Kahle: Builds a Free Digital Library

In TED Talks on May 3, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Reflection by CALVIN G.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Brewster Kahle: Builds a Free Digital Library

Brewster Kahle is a librarian with a vision.

He argues that we need to put the best we have to offer within reach of our children. He says that if this is not done then the next generation isn’t going to be very productive. He claims that right now children are only able to learn from whatever it is they have around them.

His vision is to build an internet program that allows all published items in the world to be put into one place. His inspiration for this is the Boston public library which has the words “free to all” inscribed at the top. Mr. Kahle believes that all people in the world should have free access to knowledge and that it shouldn’t be available to just the people that are fortunate to have the access or can afford it.

He also bases his idea off the Egyptians who built a library of Alexandria which had a copy of all the books of the world. Mr. Kahle argues that this digital library is within our grasp and could very easily happen. What fascinates me is the possibilities this has. Children who can’t afford books or live far from a library now can (with a computer) have access to any book ever published.

Let’s think about how much our nations knowledge and the worlds knowledge could increase from this free digital library. The United States already has a good education system and produces very knowledgeable people and that’s with many of our nation’s kids being deprived of access to knowledge. Think about what would happen if every kid had this type of access. The world as a whole isn’t going to move into a new dimension of knowledge because of this. Collectively though the world will be considerably smarter.

This digital library probably won’t come in 5 maybe not even 10 years, but down the line this could change education for everyone. I really commend Mr. Kahle for the sole fact that he is doing something that impacts the world as a whole.


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