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The Googlization of Everything, “Drop the fight”? or Start a Revolution?

Siva Vaidhyanathan is writing his next book, The Googlization of Everything: How One Company is Disrupting Culture, Commerce, and Community–and Why We Should Worry, and will be posting snippets of text on the blog, The Googlization of Everything and asking readers for comments. He says of the book:

The book will answer three key questions: What does the world look like through the lens of Google?; How is Google’s ubiquity affecting the production and dissemination of knowledge?; and how has the corporation altered the rules and practices that govern other companies, institutions, and states?

Vaidhyanathan is an associate professor of media studies and law at the University of Virginia, a fellow at the Institute for the Future of the Book, and the author of Copyrights and Copywrongs and The Anarchist in the Library.

"Drop the fight"?
To those of us at FGI, the increasing reliance by libraries on Google is something that needs close scrutiny. I was dismayed to read recently that an associate dean for public services and collection development said, that because Google does the "search function" "better than so far any library can do" therefore "..what would be in our best interests is to drop the fight, to let Google take over that…" (Susan Gibbons quoted in Young Librarians, Talkin’ ‘Bout Their Generation by Scott Carlson, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 19, 2007). To say that finding information can be done only one way and the (apparently) winner-take-all popularity-contest and keyword-in-text approaches used by google are so good that libraries should "drop the fight" is just plain short-sighted and an abrogation of our responsibility (IMHO). For a different point of view, see On Google’s Monetization of Libraries, By Rory Litwin, Library Juice 7:26 (December 17, 2004).

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