The term 'digital libraries' gets used quite often, sometimes applying it to technologies that are not really digital libraries. Could you provide some examples of technologies that are specifically not digital libraries?
There are many definitions for what constitutes a digital library. Hence, there are many technologies, such as databases or the World Wide Web (WWW) that have been wrongly classified as a “digital library.” Databases can be merely a part of a digital library, not a library itself. It lacks some of the services that are an essential component of a digital library. Furthermore, many databases simply do not include full content, another essential characteristic of a digital library. Based on the most widely accepted definitions, it is impossible for the Web to constitute a digital library. One of the most important characteristics of traditional libraries has been the organization of its collections. The Web, for all of its advantages, is a tremendously disorganized medium. Services such as Yahoo!, which has provided a certain degree of order, cannot match a library’s high level of collection organization. Moreover, the Web lacks a selection process and maintenance for the information that is available. Practically anybody with access to the internet can create a webpage and make it available for everybody else, a situation that has resulted in the Web growing at exponential rates. When a potential user seeks and finds information, there is no guarantee that this information is reliable and/or credible. Furthermore, this information may exist one day, but disappear the next day. More often than not, many websites are not maintained and simply vanish. For these reasons, the Web cannot and should not be labeled as a form of digital library. As well, a webpage that merely includes a long list of links to other sites cannot be considered a digital library. In this case, the site may be organized, maintained and may also involve a selection process; however it does not provide complete full textual content. These links lead to other websites, located externally, and not as part of the site itself.
Is the United Nations still relevant after the 2003 Iraq war?
After the U.S. unilaterally invaded Iraq in 2003, the UN received strong criticism from many political circles and some even spoke of the "death of the UN." From the point of view of the UN, former Secretary-General Kofi Annan declared that the invasion had completely violated the principles of the UN Charter. However, after the initial American military victory, it was clear the U.S. needed help in rebuilding and stabilizing Iraq, and for this it turned to the UN. Council Resolution 1483 was passed on May 22, 2003, granting the UN an important role in postwar Iraq. By doing this, the costs would be shared, and more importantly the UN could provide a sense of legitimacy that no other world organization or nation could offer. This is proof that the world's only superpower continues to seek legitimacy through the UN. The U.S. has renewed its interest in collaborating with the UN, confirming its importance and relevance in the international stage. Whether the UN reforms or not, it will continue to be a repository for international public opinion, and serve as a voice for small nations, that by themselves, would not be able to express their aspirations and goals. Furthermore, there are too many problems "without passports" that cannot be solved by one nation alone, such as famine, human trafficking, international terrorism, and that only the UN can deal with effectively. After almost a decade since the Iraq crisis, the structure of the Security Council remains unchanged and it continues to play a crucial role in international security and safety, while other UN bodies continue to provide much needed humanitarian relief.
Did the power of the United States decline during the 1970s?
The challenges faced by the U.S. during the 1970s were not minor ones. These challenges clearly helped to create a general feeling of "malaise" that only began to recede in the optimistic decade of the 1980s. However, a distinction must be made between the feelings generated by years of unsound policies - both domestic and foreign - and economic stagnation versus a real decline in American power. However, the overall power of the U.S. during the 1970s did not decline but continued despite temporary setbacks in a few areas. Proof of this was America's position during the next decade when the U.S. emerged more powerful than ever, particularly by the end of the Cold War.