Paperless society

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A Paperless society is one in which paper communication (written documents, mail, letters, etc.) is replaced by electronic communication and storage. The concept originated[citation needed] by Frederick Wilfrid Lancaster in 1978. Furthermore, libraries would no longer be needed to handle printed documents. "Librarians will, in time, become information specialists in a deinstitutionalized setting" (Lancaster & Smith, 1980).


  • Brodman, E. (1979). Review of Toward Paperless Information Systems. Bulletin of the Medical Library Association, 67(4), 437–439.
  • Buckland, M. K. (1980). Review of Toward Paperless Information Systems. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 5(6), 349.
  • Grosch, A. (1979). Review of Toward Paperless Information Systems. College & Research Libraries, 40(1), 88–89.
  • Kohl, D. F. (2004). From the editor . . . The paperless society . . . Not quite yet. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 30(3), 177–178.
  • Lancaster, F. W. (1978a). Toward paperless information systems. New York: Academic Press.
  • Lancaster, F. W. (1980b). The future of the librarian lies outside of the library. Catholic Library World, 51, 388–391.
  • Lancaster, F. W. (1982a). Libraries and librarians in an age of electronics. Arlington, VA: Information Resources Press.
  • Lancaster, F. W. (1982b). The evolving paperless society and its implications for libraries. International Forum on Information and Documentation, 7(4), 3–10.
  • Lancaster, F. W. (1983). Future librarianship: Preparing for an unconventional career. Wilson Library Bulletin, 57, 747–753.
  • Lancaster, F. W. (1985). The paperless society revisited. American Libraries, 16, 553–555.
  • Lancaster, F. W. (1993). Libraries and the future: Essays on the library in the twenty-first century. New York: Haworth Press.
  • Lancaster, F. W. (1999). Second thoughts on the paperless society. Library Journal, 124(15), 48– 50.
  • Lancaster, F. W., & Smith, L. C. (1980c). On-Line systems in the communication process: Projections. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 31(3), 193–200.
  • Miall, D. S. (2001). The library versus the Internet: Literary studies under siege? Proceedings of the Modern Language Association, 116(5), 1405–1414.
  • Salton, G. (1979). Review of Toward Paperless Information Systems. Journal of Documentation, 35(3), 250–252.
  • Sellen, A. J., & Harper, R. H. R. (2003). The myth of the paperless office. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Stevens, N. D. (2006). The fully electronic academic library. College & Research Libraries, 67(1),5–14.
  • Young, Arthur P. (2008).Aftermath of a Prediction: F. W. Lancaster and the Paperless Society LIBRARY TRENDS, 56(4),(“The Evaluation and Transformation of Information Systems: Essays Honoring the Legacy of F. W. Lancaster,” edited by Lorraine J. Haricombe and Keith Russell), pp. 843–858.

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