I've been scanning things like umpteen book reviews from the Athenaeum; Alex Halavais, however, has been scanning his books. On a ScanSnap, which means that he has to destroy the books in the process. Now, granted I suffer from "disposophobia," as witnessed by the grand total of seventy books I've managed to pull off my shelves for donation (leaving over 7100 books on the shelves), but the specialist in obscure tomes in me balked at this project. GoogleBooks scans the books, returns them to the shelves, and then puts the results on the 'net; Halavais, for obvious copyright reasons, can only produce a non-circulating copy. It's the disappeared physical copy that troubles me, because Halavais--like yours truly--works on books that are likely to get pulped. (Old scholarly works usually don't have any collector's value, despite the outrageous prices that Amazon sellers like to slap on such things.) One more discarded book = one less book for some other intrepid researcher in Halavais' field to find.
Still, I was intrigued by Halavais' observation that the digitized texts no longer seem to register as a "library"; now, they're a "resource." "Library," to me, suggests not just a collection with a coherent project, but also a repository of works--books to be approached in their entirety. A personal library suggests the possibility of an open, flexible engagement with a unique, perhaps eccentric, collection of works, which can be appreciated in any number of ways (literary, aesthetic, historical, what-have-you). But resources have only utilitarian value. Do you enjoy a "resource"? I certainly don't respond to "My Library" in GoogleBooks in the same way that I respond to my physical library: there is no sentimental attachment, no sense of possession, no feeling that the "my" in "my library" is a genuinely meaningful possessive. (I don't have a voicemail joke about the GoogleBooks library, after all.)