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Book Scanning for Libraries Becoming Hot News

As I was waiting for a meeting yesterday, I saw CNN reporting on the issue of libraries and scanning. Some well known research libraries are turning down Microsoft and Google’s offers to scan the contents of the libraries for free. Of course, nothing is really free, and the libraries do not want to bind themselves to the terms of Google and Microsoft’s “free deal”. If a library or organization commits to Google or Microsoft, it agrees that it will not make the scanned material available to any other commercial search service.

Boston Public Library and the Smithsonian Institution have signed with Open Content Alliance, a non profit, that will scan and make the information available to any search service. The Times says that this signals “that many in the academic and nonprofit world are intent on pursuing a vision of the Web as a global repository of knowledge that is free of business interests or restrictions.” I love the idea of the Web as a “global repository of knowledge.”

Via New York Times and CNN.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

One Comment

  1. MCHalliday
    Oct 23, 2007 @ 11:25:36

    I research a fair amount on the net and for some reason, information on American history and maps is difficult, if not impossible, to locate. In my web searches, I’ve found I can buy books and old maps or pay for access to certain “repositories of knowledge” but am unable to simply read freely about history in America. I applaud Open Content Alliance.

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