February 22, 2008
An Upstart Web Catalog Challenges an Academic-Library Giant
At only 21, Aaron Swartz is attempting to turn the library world upside down. He is taking on the subscription-based WorldCat, the largest bibliographic database on the planet, by building a free online book catalog that anyone can update.
Many academic librarians are wary of Mr. Swartz's project because it will allow nonlibrarians, who may be prone to errors, to catalog books.
But some young librarians are rallying around the precocious entrepreneur because his work may make