Thursday, 26 March 2009

libraries of the future - jisc

a blog worth watching?

1 comment:

John said...

Sue M and I (and Patricia, Lesley and Peter M) went to the event. Much of it IMHO didn;t cover much new ground. Peter Murray-Rust's presentation was by far the best. But I was interested by this exchange in the Q&A:

"David Pearson, University of London: The Google digitisation programme means the custodianship of knowledge is passing into commercial hands. How worried should we be?

Robert: I am worried. I admire Google tremendously, and it is a fabulous success. The digital databank is spectacular. They are digitising 1,000 books a day. This is going to be the greatest digital library ever seen. But is commercial ownership a good thing? Yes and no. Yes in the sense that it’s wonderful that it exists and books have a new life and it’s bringing research within our research. No, concerning orphaned books. There are millions of books in that zone. I think it’s unjust, and the revenue should go to a public cause. Google is a monopoly. Many monopolies deliver excellent services. In Google’s case, there is one tremendous power coupled with enormous enterprise and audacity, and there is no serious competition. Isn’t there a contradiction between private property, where Google own the content, and the public good, where libraries offer? If Google want to organise knowledge and make it accessible and useful, it should compromise and monitor so that the public good is represented. Google must come up with a proposal to make this happen, otherwise a court action is likely to succeed in the US."

Darnton's right. Google is going to be a bigger problem than Microsoft ever was. See my blog post about Google as a foster-parent: