Bronwyn's Library Blog

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Google the future of libraries?

I don't suppose anyone can foresee the impact of Google's decision to digitise library books and periodicals. It certainly has tones of the demise of the Librarian. And if the report from Bangor University library is also an indiation of future trends then it would seem increasingly likely.
But while all of that would seem a natural response, especially from Librarians, to the Google plans, it was less foreseeable that the French would react quite so strongly. "Here we find a risk of crushing domination by America in defining the idea that future generations have of the world," [Jean-Noel Jeanneney, who heads France's national library and is a noted historian]wrote, urging the EU to act fast. "He pushed his campaign forward this week by announcing the national library would make editions of 22 French periodicals and newspapers dating back to the 19th century available on the Internet." I'm glad he's in there batting for the non-American world. But I also am thankful that Goggle is doing what it is... Ah the dichotomy of a conservative Librarian excited by the possibilites of a digital world.


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