With the inevitable future of mass storage of digitally archived materials, the key will be to use properly supported data centers for the housing and protection of the valuable information. With more libraries and universities looking at this as a way to support the masses, they also need to have strong backup plans for the possbility of diaster. Good recovery plans make it viable for libraries to get their networks back on line for the continued access but also for the protection of their valuable materials for the public and students to re-gain access to the needed information. With many companies, hospitals, libraries and education facilities, this information is the life-blood of the establishment and without it, this can impact their research as well as (sometimes) their financial bottom line. Schools and universities are using this more as a selling tool for having these avaialable online resources for both on-campus students as well as for their distance education programs.
As many people now are used to “Google” or “Safari” for the searching of key-words, this seems to be the next way for the finding of reading materials. Many people are already using these same vehicles for the finding of “how to” videos, music as a reference for band classes, encyclopedia-like information on forums like “Wikipedia” for even class notes from a digitally published university lecture. The key to this is not only the title or author of the materials but now the use of Metadata or metatags which is embedded information within the digital file name that assists in the search for key words. Adding information about publishers, subject matter, date of lecture or just key terms that cover the salient points of the book or article all help in the search criteria being looked at by the reader.
In future search engines and web portals for reading materials and resources, the portal developer as well as the publisher needs to take careful consideration to this to ensure that their materials are found by the target viewers.
In this age of constant immersion into the digital realm, more and more people are using the digital devices for the exploration and education of them selves. As more and more content becomes more readily available, this method grows exponentially. It allows the young to see words during interactive experiences through gaming and start to formulate a visual language by the continual exposure. The schools adopting digital reading methods for text books provide an easy way to give information to the masses without the need to store volumes of materials. The pervasive use of visual reading mediums such as laptops, tablets, phones, etc. make the opportunity to carry many different books, magazines, reference materials and the like with them at all times for immediate and easy access. Publishing materials in the digital realm also allows the opportunity to get materials to the masses much easier than the shipping of heavy volumes. Third world countries can now access digitially published materials in their own language where this was cost prohibitive in the past.
This seems to be the logical path into the future for the easy mass distribution of reading materials.