In “Toward a New Alexandria: Imagining the Future of Libraries” (The New Republic), Lisbet Rausing writes:
Imagine a new Library of Alexandria. Imagine an archive that contains all the natural and social sciences of the West—our source-critical, referenced, peer-reviewed data—as well as the cultural and literary heritage of the world's civilizations, and many of the world’s most significant archives and specialist collections. Imagine that this library is electronic and in the public domain: sustainable, stable, linked, and searchable through universal semantic catalogue standards. Imagine that it has open source-ware, allowing legacy digital resources and new digital knowledge to be integrated in real time. Imagine that its Second Web capabilities allowed universal researches of the bibliome.
Well, why not imagine this library?
Read and dream on. From the concluding section:
The obstacles to a true and electronic Reformation are real, but perhaps also caused by the continuation of “business as usual,” perhaps ultimately founded in the mental difficult [sic] that older folk have imaginatively re-drawing work practices, as well as organizational and legal “silos.” Remember Henry Ford’s comment: “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have asked for a better horse carriage.”