Why you can't find a library book in your search engine

You might expect forward-thinking libraries to put their databases online, to encourage people through their doors. But they can't. Even though they created the data, pay to have records added to the database and pay to download them, they can't.

"It's safe to say that the policy change is a direct response to Open Library," says Aaron Swartz, the founder of Open Library (openlibrary.org), a project to give every published book its own Wikipedia-style page. "Since the beginning of Open Library, OCLC has been threatening funders, pressuring libraries not to work with us, and using tricks to try to shut us down. It didn't work - and so now this."

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