Then imagine, in addition to being able to view the collection, you have the opportunity to critique it, expand it, or to create and manage a new collection in your own area of interest. While such a feat is physically and fiscally beyond the scope of even the largest and most extraordinary physical library, ibiblio.org achieves just such breadth and depth on the Internet.
Users in China studying American poetry or folk music can access ibiblio.org and find a vast collection of poems or songs. They can listen to the artist perform, read the biography, download sheet music, reference secondary criticism, and submit their own research papers to the collection. A veteran of World War II from anywhere in the world can access and contribute to the enthusiast-managed Pearl Harbor archives, joining the virtual dialogue on the topic.
The average municipal public library receives a few hundred visitors a week. ibiblio.org averages 3 million information requests per day, and the contributor-maintained collections are expanding daily. A free and vibrant exchange of ideas among a large community of contributors who share their knowledge across disciplines, ibiblio.org uses the open source model to encourage users to help shape the way information is managed and accessed in the 21st century.