Monday, October 22, 2007

Research libraries doing the right thing

The New York Times has an article today about some research libraries taking the high road: Libraries Shun Deals to Place Books on Web. Of course, the libraries are absolutely trying to get their books on the Web, so the headline is quite misleading. What they meant to say is, "Libraries Shun Corporate Lock-in and Proprietary Solutions for Online Books."

Here's what happened:

Several major research libraries have rebuffed offers from Google and Microsoft to scan their books into computer databases, saying they are put off by restrictions these companies want to place on the new digital collections.

The research libraries, including a large consortium in the Boston area, are instead signing on with the Open Content Alliance, a nonprofit effort aimed at making their materials broadly available.

That rocks!

I have on several occasions in the past been totally dismayed as our Land-Grant universities have jumped into bed with Google, et al on these book digitization projects. I only see five Land-Grants on the list of contributors to the Open Content Alliance. That is totally unacceptable. If the Land-Grants are going to be true to their mission as the "people's university" they need to get behind these projects that are on the right side of access. We are arriving way too late to the party.

No comments: