Archive of Everything

The interface is pretty ugly, but the ambition is grand and noble: "universal access to all knowledge". The Internet Archive describes itself as a 'library of the Internet". It stores/caches permanently billions of pages and millions of websites, plus audio and visual files. To do that, it needs serious storage capacity (we're talking petabytes). The Internet is such an evanescent, fizzing medium, continually addicted to the new and happy to forget the old almost instantly, that an organisation dedicated to preserving that tumult seems very valuable.

The Wayback Machine (a part of the site), for searching websites cached over the past decade or more, is exceptionally easy to use and functional. Likewise, the Open Library, featuring millions of digitised books, is incredibly interesting and well designed. Hopefully the programmers who put it together will work on making the entire site more accessible to lay users. 


Selling Your Books to Libraries

Besides being one of the most positive and useful institutions in Australia, public libraries are also major book purchasers (in this time of bookstore bloodbaths), so authors should pay attention to them. Jerry Bell, author of Lighting Up Australia had this to say:

I found that librarians rarely responded to the written word. It seems that those doing the ordering are young, and live on the email, so once I began to email the librarian responsible for the ordering  at libraries all over Australia, I got very positive responses. It also helps to stress if a bit of Australian history is involved, as that is seen as desirable.