Thursday, July 30, 2009

Civil Rights Activists Champion Google Book Deal; PC World, 7/29/09

Grant Gross via PC World; Civil Rights Activists Champion Google Book Deal:

"A proposed settlement allowing Google to digitize millions of books will have huge benefits for minority populations and their access to valuable information, a group of civil rights leaders and educators said Wednesday.

The Google book settlement, scheduled to be reviewed in an Oct. 7 court hearing, would allow Google to scan and make available scores of books, including millions of out-of-print titles. The digitized books will give minorities and poor people new access to titles that were formerly only available at large university libraries, supporters of the deal said during a forum at the Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C.

"The idea that a student in Boston at a very exclusive private school can read the same books that a student somewhere in an underfunded, urban public school, that they can have the same access to the same materials is actually just amazing," said Professor Rhea Ballard-Thrower, law librarian at the Howard law school. "Books are the great equalizer.""

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