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Analysis of Google Print/Library/Book Search

A Risky Gamble With Google, By Siva Vaidhyanathan, Chronicle of Higher Education, 12/2/2005, Section: The Chronicle Review, Volume 52, Issue 15, Page B7. [subscription required]. Also available without subscription here.

Siva clearly identifies the problems of relying on Google as a replacement for libraries: it “offers us at least three reasons to worry: privacy, privatization, and property.”

This particular project, I fear, opens up more problems than it solves. It will certainly fail to live up to its utopian promise. And it dangerously elevates Google’s role and responsibility as the steward — with no accountability — of our information ecosystem. That’s why I, an avowed open-source, open-access advocate, have serious reservations about it….

We need services like that provided by Google Library. But they should be “Library Library” projects. Libraries should not be relinquishing their core duties to private corporations for the sake of expediency.

Siva is assistant professor of culture and communication at New York University and author of Copyrights and Copywrongs and The Anarchist in the Library.

Also see, Siva on the Google-print/Google-library/Google-book-search naming problem: On the “Google Print Book Search Publisher Partner Library Project Program”.

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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