LibGig reported yesterday [http://www.libgig.com/eudigital]:
“…The EU asked for further efforts by its member states for ratification of a common digital library. Libraries in EU countries contain more than 2.5 billion books. But only about 1 percent of archival material is available in digital form.
The EU digital library, called Europeana, will also make music, paintings, photographs, and films digitally available in one portal.
‘Even though member states have made significant progress in making cultural content accessible on the Internet, more public and private investment is needed to speed up digitization,’ said Viviane Reding, EU commissioner for information society and media.
She hoped the library can be opened to the public before the end of the year.
The commission, the executive body of the EU, will provide 120 million euros in 2009-2010 for this project.
The commission asked EU member states to provide funding for digitization as the money allocated by the commission is far from enough. The total cost of digitizing 5 million books is already estimated at approximately 225 million euros, not including objects like manuscripts or paintings…”