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This article explores the implications of a shift from public to private provision of information through focusing on the relationship between Google and public libraries. This relationship has sparked controversy, with concerns expressed about the integrity of search results, the Google Book project, and Google the company. In this paper, these concerns are treated as symptoms of a deeper divide, the fundamentally different conceptions of information that underpin the stated aim of Google and libraries to provide access to information. The paper concludes with some principles necessary for the survival of public libraries and their contribution to a robust democracy in a rapidly expanding Googleverse.
Here is a report of what happened this morning from someone who was in the front row of the court room. The real news: The parties are "targeting early November" to present an amended settlement. The parties would also propose a program for a “supplemental notice” to authors, publishers, and other rightholders in the class action.
ARL, ALA and ACRL have prepared a document to summarize key information about the hundreds of filings that have been submitted to the federal district court presiding over the Google Books litigation. After a summary of the case, the following half-dozen pages contain charts of who has filed in support of the settlement, and who has filed in opposition, along with brief notes about their reasons.
"The dispute over Google Books continues to rage in the courts and op-ed pages of the country. There are legitimate questions about Google, profit sharing and privacy. But let’s not let the litigation obscure that Google Books provides an unprecedented and irreproducible service to its users.
Libraries have been important for millennia because they could control access to valuable information. Now, that’s a strategy that leads straight to irrelevance.
A lot of smart librarians recognize the imperative of digitization but their institutions rarely give them money for such “low-priority” tasks."
Google is rolling out a new service on Wednesday that will allow users to post notes alongside Web sites that can be read by other users. The service, called Sidewiki, will be a new feature of the Google Toolbar, a popular browser add-on.
Full post at NYT Bits Blog
The parties in the Google Book Search Settlement have asked the court to adjourn the scheduled October 7th fairness hearing, telling the court the parties intend to amend the deal. "Because the parties, after consultation with the DOJ, have determined that the Settlement Agreement that was approved preliminarily in November 2008 will be amended, plaintiffs respectfully submit that the Fairness Hearing should not be held, as scheduled, on October 7," reads a memorandum appended to the parties motion to adjourn.
"To continue on the current schedule would put the Court in a position of reviewing and having participants at the hearing speak to the
original Settlement Agreement, which will not be the subject of a motion for final approval." The court is expected to grant the motion. Publishers Weekly reports.
Matthew Hurst: "To me, a librarian - a good one - is someone who knows firstly about the relationship between information and location and secondly about how to elicit enough information from the enquirer to leverage this knowledge. A really good librarian will actually be able to find you the right information, not just the book in which it is captured. Google's search engine has an entirely different model."
Wired's Epicenter blog details the latest venture to come out of Mountain View CA, public domain books printed on demand.
"What’s hot off the presses come Thursday? Any one of the more than 2 million books old enough to fall out of copyright into the public domain.
And now Google Book Search, in partnership with On Demand Books, is letting readers turn those digital copies back into paper copies, individually printed by bookstores around the world."
Plutarch said, "To find fault is easy; to do better may be difficult. "
On that note an article about comments by Google CEO Eric Schmidt.