Why college libraries — and books — are far, far from dead

Harvard University professor and librarian Robert Darnton tells the Chronicle of Higher Education why books and paper archives are still important in the digital age:

Brewster Kahle, creator of the Internet Archive, calculated in 1997 that the average life of a URL was 44 days.

Only 44 days? Now that’s some link rot.

(I’m sure that has lengthened in the past decade or so, though from my own experience in curating stories, some posts’ expiration dates — usually those from local and regional newspapers — are still tragically short.)

And is digital information truly eternal, as one hears so often?

Heh — hardly, he says:

… Most of the information that once did appear has probably been lost.