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Designing and using digital libraries requires more than just technical expertise. Digital libraries face a growing number of challenges that cannot be tackled by solely technological means. For example, collections management involves tough choices about which materials to digitize given scarce resources, and also which materials to discontinue in print form. Intellectual property can also come into play, especially for large digitization projects. For cataloging, the emergence of folksonomies threatens the authority of formal taxonomies. Digital libraries can encourage or discourage interaction between librarians and users, as in the case of references services, as well as interaction among users, which may transform digital libraries into online communities. Finally, designers face challenges in ensuring that all users will be able to use digital libraries, including not only users with special needs but also the gap between novice and expert users. The digital age presents libraries with new challenges and opportunities. Will the library as a physical space be replaced by digital libraries, or merely augmented? Will libraries become irrelevant as users increasingly turn to commercial services to meet their information needs? Or, will libraries prove to be even more relevant and indispensable than ever in the digital age?
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