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LIS 950: Libraries and community

The purpose of this seminar is to explore an important topic in library and information studies in depth — in all its intertwined historical, cultural, philosophical, and political aspects — through a graduate reading/discussion seminar. The topic varies each time the course is taught; this time around, we will focus on "libraries and community"

Monday, November 07, 2005

Follow up to Jacob's post on book scanning

Jacob's earlier post left off with a question, essentially: How do these book scanning projects impact the role of the library in terms of the "Public Sphere." This has been an ongoing debate for some time now. Much of the writing on this topic has been speculation and prediction. It would appear that we are no longer talking about this in terms of the future when you have these big players partnering and aggressively competing in this "market." Google, Amazon and now Microsoft teaming up with Yahoo.

Microsoft has said it will participate in a recently announced
book-scanning project led by Yahoo and the Internet Archive. Unlike
Google's much-maligned project, the Yahoo initiative, called the Open
Content Alliance, will only scan books that are in the public domain or
for which explicit permission has been granted by the copyright holder.
In contrast, Google will scan copyrighted books unless copyright
holders specifically request that their books be excluded, though only
small portions of copyrighted books will be available online. For its
part, Microsoft will finance the scanning of about 150,000 books, while
Yahoo will pay for about 18,000 books to be digitized. The Open Content
Alliance also differs from Google's project in that all of the content
from the alliance will be available from a database to any search
engine; Google will be the only means to access the content of its
project. Microsoft will create an MSN Book Search service next year,
though the business model for particular services and fees has not been
set, according to Danielle Tiedt, general manager of search content
acquisition at MSN.



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