Codan The Librarian

Internet2 and Libraries

Posted on: April 13, 2007

I don’t write on here enough.

Recently here at LCCC we had a professional development keynote address by Connie Wisdo of the University of Scranton. She is in charge of technology there, including Internet2. She had given an address at a NEPLA meeting last June on Internet2 and I was hooked. So for the last few months I’ve worked at getting it here at LCCC. Our dean has approved me writing up a proposal for the college to review and hopefully approve.

Internet2 is a fascinating new thing. Begun in 1996 when the original Internet went commercial, it has increased in users, now up to fifty some odd thousand. Internet2 runs on a different wire, with much faster speeds and is closed to commercial use. Its main use has been for research and education. Unlike the progression of the original Internet, Internet2 is signing on everyone they can from K-20 schools to research companies to even Google (though I don’t know what they are doing with Internet2). In any case, as their website can probably show you, there is a whole new world of possibilities opened up with the capabilities of downloading, for example, an entire DVD movie in just six seconds. Now THAT’S FAST!

So, in any case, I, as the electronic resource librarian, have pressed for Internet2 here at LCCC. But as I’ve been doing this, I’ve been stuck on one question. How can libraries take advantage of Internet2? How can libraries be ahead of the game in this instance, instead of stuck behind, as we are now in relation to Google? What can libraries do to participate and be involved in, and be movers of Internet2?

I’ve got to think on that question some more. But I do think libraries need to jump on this quickly if they wish to stay ahead of the game for once.

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2 Responses to "Internet2 and Libraries"

I’ll give you an example from what Salt Lake County libraries do: they allow you to checkout e-books from their website. Imagine as a library you have a vast virtual catalog of video resources that you can checkout as well. It doesn’t take long to see that all that bandwidth is going to be good for something as libraries move from books to all types of media.

Hmmm, that sounds like a good idea. The problem is that Interent2 is not commercial, so individual homes won’t have access to it. The wiring and hardware would be far too expensive at this point for individuals to own, or even rent. Internet2’s only possible use at this point is at the institution itself. The collection, management, and use of video and audio is definitely one area where libraries can grab hold, but at this point, only on campus.

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