Friday, March 11, 2005

Don't Get Goggle-Eyed Over Google's Plan to Digitize

This opinion piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education lists five reasons why we shouldn't tear up our library cards just yet:
  • Copyright
  • Past failures
  • Preserving books
  • Google's future
  • Ecological concerns
Under preserving books, Mark Y. Herring notes:
My guess is that Google has underestimated, perhaps substantially, the percentage of books that will be damaged or that cannot undergo rapid digitization. Not only will some books be too fragile, or bound too tightly to lie flat, but even some newer books, owing to rapid manufacture, fall out of their bindings in 12 months or less. Handling -- even by careful digitizers -- will doubtless leave more than a few volumes without covers. Working with both groups of titles will increase Google's costs.
Imagine the wrath that will occur if even one fragile book is harmed during the digitization process. Could several instances kill the project by causes Google to slow down and be more careful, or by giving libraries second thoughts?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Google is not so concerned about a selective few who could actually do things wrong their end - I think its a brilliant concept by google.
--- Mark