Taxpayer money should be spent on the electronic preservation of information. Documents such as those that helped form our country's founding, important documents made by early politicians, scientists, or literary figures help preserve the character of American history. Paying for the transfer of these paper documents into pdfs or from microfiche to photo is perfectly legitimate with tax money.
Money should be spent on electronic preservation of information because it allows taxpayer information to be accessible across the nation especially in reference to health care information. By preserving information electronically, doctors and hospitals, can save money and paper waste if they can access health information from a health care type of database. This would also be useful if other countries are using the same technology, which would make personal health information accessible even in another country.
The unfortunate problem with old books is that they decay. Paper breaks down, leather dries out, and ink smears. We now have the technology to take an imprint of these classic works of art or literature and preserve them electronically. The longer we wait, the more the items decay. If Tax payers intend on preserving knowledge, they will understand the sacrifice to maintain the knowledge of the original work to the best of our ability. The best of our ability is now digital reproductions.
The United States needs to start preserving information electronicly. This being said they need to be doing this on CD or solid state drives that are EMP protected. This information should be kept in close network systems to avoid corruption and deletion. IT is the most economic way to preserve information.