Friday, August 28, 2009

Librarians apply scrutiny to Google Books at Berkeley con; ZDNet Government, 8/27/09

Richard Koman via ZDNet Government; Librarians apply scrutiny to Google Books at Berkeley con:

"If you’re in the Bay Area and you want a full day of wonky debate, check out UC Berkeley’s Google Books Conference. It features panels on how the Google Books settlement affect data mining, privacy, information quality and public access.

The conference comes hard on the heels of the formation of the Open Book Alliance, an organization driven by the Internet Archive and including Amazon, Yahoo and Microsoft, as well as library and small publishing groups among its members. Most of the speakers are opposed to the deal but Google’s Tom [sic] Clancy will be there to make the company’s argument....

But if Google is the last library, as Berkeley linguist Geoff Nunberg says, it’s a pretty bad one. That means serious library science must be applied to the online collection before we should outsource the history of human (or at least Western) knowledge to Google:

Google Book Search is almost laughably unusable for serious research, UC Berkeley’s Nunberg said. For example, he pointed out that the Charles Dickens classic “A Tale of Two Cities” is listed in Google Book Search as having been published in 1800; Dickens was born in 1812."

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