Have you ever visited a library and found the book you require already taken? Have you been up late night trying to finish your assignment and not finding answer to a particular question because you forgot to borrow the book from the library? The spacious and roomy libraries may serve as great places to learn and study. However, with change in lifestyle, the requirements have also changed. There used to be a time when students used to religiously take down notes. Now, clicking a picture of the blackboard serves us well.
We are living in an era where digitalisation has become our secondary nature. The revolutionary fibre optic cables have brought down the internet charges. It has become cheaper than food! Concept of digital library is an important outcome of the wave of digitalisation that has washed the entire planet. Every type of book, written notes, diagrams, and sketches can be scanned, converted into electrical signals and transmitted everywhere across the world.
Northeastern University too is embracing this new concept of digital library. Dan Cohen, dean of the libraries and vice provost for information collaboration, wants to transform Northeastern’s vast archive of print and photographic data into a standardised digital form that will allow scholars to use modern Big Data techniques to analyse 300-year-old information. National Endowment for the Humanities, has agreed to contribute $500,000 towards this cause. Cohen says,
“This grant is a vote of confidence for the direction we’re taking to develop new forms of scholarship. This is fully in line with President Joseph Aoun’s vision of humanics, where we gain insight into human culture, emotions, and motivation through the use of technology and Big Data.”