If they had a million dollars, they’d buy more time. But a vast online library doesn’t have that kind of cash, so it is drastically reducing its devoted workforce. Internet Archive Canada, a small non-profit company, fired 35 of its 47 employees on Wednesday due to a massive drop in donations. Most will leave Aug. 12 unless a white knight appears soon.

“It was one of the worst days of my life,” said Gabe Juszel, director of the Canadian operation, one of 26 offices worldwide, who will stay on. Internet Archive’s website Archive.org is the granddaddy of digitization. The San Francisco-based company has converted millions of books into bytes, and is now doing the same with audio, video and even microfiche.

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