Thursday, October 07, 2004

Google Print

Well, Google made it official today: they are not going to take Amazon's advance into search engines (see lying down. Google Print will, in the words of a USA Today article this morning, "lets users search through pages of books online."

The mission of OCLC, as originally enunciated by our founder, Fred Kilgour, is to further access to the world's information. According to their website, "Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Since a lot of the world's information isn't yet online, we're helping to get it there. Google Print puts the content of books where you can find it most easily; right in Google search results."

So how should we as librarians and library workers and library users feel about this? Should I be happy because this is the dawning of a golden age of information widely disseminated and enjoyed, a flowering of a new renaissance that will see every individual reach his or her greatest potential? Or should I be suspicious that is just another smash and grab job on the part of big business to cut into more market share? Or should I prepare to go to DeVry and learn TiVo repair, because the prospects for my profession have just become about as rosy as being a member of a Milli Vanilli tribute band?

As Sherlock Holmes would say, this is a three pipe problem. I wish I still smoked.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a not quite finished library student, I'm completely open to working for the academic bookseller at the end of my street.Even if he does sell shelf-ready books to university libraries.