From Gutenberg to the Global Information Infrastructure

From Digital Libraries and Electronic Publishing

From Gutenberg to the Global Information Infrastructure

Access to Information in the Networked World

By Christine L. Borgman





Will the emerging global information infrastructure (GII) create a revolution in communication equivalent to that wrought by Gutenberg, or will the result be simply the evolutionary adaptation of existing behavior and institutions to new media? Will the GII improve access to information for all? Will it replace libraries and publishers? How can computers and information systems be made easier to use? What are the trade-offs between tailoring information systems to user communities and standardizing them to interconnect with systems designed for other communities, cultures, and languages? This book takes a close look at these and other questions of technology, behavior, and policy surrounding the GII. Topics covered include the design and use of digital libraries; behavioral and institutional aspects of electronic publishing; the evolving role of libraries; the life cycle of creating, using, and seeking information; and the adoption and adaptation of information technologies. The book takes a human-centered perspective, focusing on how well the GII fits into the daily lives of the people it is supposed to benefit. Taking a unique holistic approach to information access, the book draws on research and practice in computer science, communications, library and information science, information policy, business, economics, law, political science, sociology, history, education, and archival and museum studies. It explores both domestic and international issues. The author's own empirical research is complemented by extensive literature reviews and analyses.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262024730 344 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


$30.00 X ISBN: 9780262523455 344 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


  • A serious and multidimensional account of the challenge of connecting people and information on global networks.

    Phil Agre

    Department of Information Studies, UCLA

  • This book is valuable for the historical persepctives it offers and for its insights into the promises and prospects of the global information infrastructure.

    M. Lynne Markus

    Professor of Management and Information Science, Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management and School of Information Science, Claremont Graduate University


  • Awarded the ASIS& T Best Information Science Book Award presented by the American Society for Information Science and Technology.