Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Evolving Google Library;, 5/21/09

Via; The Evolving Google Library:

"Here's how the system would work:

Universities that have made parts of their collections available for digitization will receive deep discounts on access to the collection, or -- in Michigan's case and perhaps those of others -- will pay nothing for access to the collection, which currently has about 10 million volumes and could easily double in size. Every participating library will have full free access to digitized copies of all of the books it contributed.

For people at other institutions, a free "preview" of a book -- with about 20 percent of content -- will be available online.

Individuals will be able to purchase full access (but not download a copy) at prices that Google said would be inexpensive compared to regular purchase prices.

Colleges and university libraries could buy site licenses, with pricing based on Carnegie classification. While no scale was released, Google officials said that the goal of pricing would be both to provide appropriate recognition to copyright holders but also to ensure wide access to the collections.

Any of the universities that have provided volumes for the project will have the right to seek arbitration if they feel that the pricing does not reflect both of those principles.

Michigan was the first university to sign this expanded agreement although others among the 30-plus having books digitized are expected to follow, so the resulting offering will contain all of their collections combined...

One of the groups that has been worrying about pricing is the American Library Association. Corey Williams, associate director of the association's Washington office, said in an interview Wednesday that while many details remain unclear, the Google-Michigan agreement is "a step in the right direction with regard to pricing."...

Steven Bell, associate university librarian for research and instructional services at Temple University, said he thinks Google is trying to respond to the complaints that have been raised, and that he doesn't think the Michigan announcement will make those issues go away.

"I don't think this new agreement with the University of Michigan is going to totally mitigate the concerns of the library community about Google's monopoly ownership of these millions of digitized books."

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