A certain amount of publicity has surrounded the British Library's announcement that it is to make available in digital form some 100,000 old titles - mainly from the 19th century. It is good news that the collection will be open to staff and students of UK universities, but bad news that it will not be open access to all. The British Library Act of 1972 gives the Board the right to impose charges, with the approval of the relevant Secretary of State, but it seems to be entirely against the intent of the major provision of the Act. The Library is defined as consisting of "a comprehensive collection of books, manuscripts, periodicals, films and other recorded matter, whether printed or otherwise." and when reasons of preservation, or otherwise, require the provision of digital versions of documents, they surely become part of the 'collections' referred to, and have no special status, and, therefore, no special reason for charging. With the likelihood that the provision of digital resources will become more and more the norm for the British Library, can we expect more charged-for services? The costs of running the Library and the costs of digitisation are derived from tax - with the exception that relationships with such as Microsoft may provide additional resources - and we have the usual situation in the UK of the citizen being required to pay twice for anything connected in any way with government information and data. Write to your MP today! The British Library needs more money to preserve its present services, and is going to need more to enable it to fulfil the role of national library more effectively and more openly.