The unparalleled World Digital Library (WDL) was conceptualized by James H. Billington who proposed his idea to the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO in 2005. Mr. Billington has been the Librarian of Congress since 1989 and has been a catalyst for many visionary projects including the American Memory Historical Collections and the National Digital Library Program. He has consistently been extraordinarily forward thinking particularly in regard to technology; since “the 1990s he recognized the potential of the Internet as a tool for peace by bringing together nations’ primary documents that tell the stories of the world’s people and their cultures” (Fineberg 154). His vision for how librarians and technology can come together to provide high-quality and accessible content for the world through the WDL is an inspiration that we all as librarians should strive for, whether it is on a local or global scale. This project, the World Digital Library, provides an excellent prototype to see how unique content, excellent design, and consistent metadata can come together to create a truly invaluable and forward thinking project for our world patrons that keeps consistent with our values as library professionals.
digital libraries, website design, global information dissimination
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