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Brewster Kahle: Universal Access to All Knowledge March 18, 2015 (07:00 PM PDT - 08:15 PM PDT)
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Location: Berkeley City College, 2050 Center Street, Berkeley, CA 94704




Advances in computing and communications mean that we can cost-effectively store every book, sound recording, movie, software package, and public web page ever created, and provide access to these collections via the Internet to students and adults all over the world. By mostly using existing institutions and funding sources, we can build this as well as compensate authors within the current worldwide library budget.  Technological advances, for the first time since the loss of the Library of Alexandria, may allow us to collect all published knowledge in a similar way. But now we can take the original goal another step further to make all the published works of humankind accessible to everyone, no matter where they are in the world.

Thomas Jefferson’s statement that "All that is necessary for a student is access to a library" may be an exaggeration, but access to information is a key ingredient to education and an open society.

Will we allow ourselves to re-invent our concept of libraries to expand and to use the new technologies? This is fundamentally a societal and policy issue. These issues are reflected in our governments’ spending priorities, and in law.

A passionate advocate for public Internet access and a successful entrepreneur, Brewster Kahle has spent his career intent on a singular focus: Universal Access to All Knowledge. While a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mr. Kahle studied artificial intelligence. Soon after graduating, he helped found the company Thinking Machines, a supercomputer maker. In 1989, Mr. Kahle created the Internet’s first publishing system called Wide Area Information Server (WAIS) and established WAIS, Inc. Mr. Kahle founded the Internet Archive, one of the largest digital libraries in the world. With a staff of nearly 150, and 100 partnering libraries, the organization is working to create an online catalog of every book ever created. Also, in 1996 Mr. Kahle co-founded Alexa Internet, a service that collects data on web browsing behavior for future analysis, which was sold to Amazon.com in 1999.

Mr. Kahle received a B.S. in computer science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He and his wife, Mary Austin started The Kahle/Austin Foundation, which supports the Internet Archive along with other non-profit organizations with similar goals. Additionally, Mr. Kahle is the founder of Open Content Alliance, a group of organizations contributing to a permanent, publicly accessible archive of digitized texts. 

Admission is free and open to the public. Seating, however, is limited, and we encourage you to reserve your seat in advance to ensure admission.



Kahle 3/18/15

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Kahle 3/18/15

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