America pioneered the modern (for the 18th century) library, but now it’s falling behind.
Centuries later, though, the United States finds itself trailing Europe and Japan in creating the modern equivalent: a national digital library that would serve as an electronic repository for the nation’s cultural heritage.
In other words, there’s a real digital library divide.
In contrast to the United States, the National Library of Norway has been a global early adopter. In 2005, it announced a goal of digitizing its entire collection; by now it has scanned some 170,000 books, 250,000 newspapers, 610,000 hours of radio broadcasts, 200,000 hours of TV and 500,000 photographs. And, last year, the National Library of the Netherlands said it planned to scan all Dutch books, newspapers and periodicals from 1470 onward. NYT
I hasten to add that the United States likely has a much larger collection of info to digitize than does Norway – or most any other country.