Several major libraries have started saying no to Google’s offer to digitize their books for free – so long as the digitized books are not made available to any commercial search engine but Google. Instead, these libraries are going with the Internet Archive’s Open Archive Alliance, where it does cost $30 to digitize each book, but the content is genuinely open. As a librarian at the Boston Public Library says in this short video at the Open Content Alliance, an important principle of libraries is that they should be open to everyone – indeed, the Boston Public Library has the words “FREE FOR ALL” emblazoned above the entrance door. The New York Times also reports on this. (Via if:book)

4 thoughts on “libraries say no to Google, yes to Open Archiving of digitized books

  1. b¯rge

    Yes! What fantastic news! A truckload of kudos to them all!

  2. Anne Helmond

    Reposted comment from the Blog Herald:

    Even though I dislike CAPTCHAís as they sometimes refrain me from commenting (especially after two failed attempts) I recently discovered that there is a nice concept behind them. Von Ahn, who helped develop CAPTCHA, developped a new variant called reCAPTCHA:

    reCAPTCHA is the process of utilizing CAPTCHA to improve the process of digitizing books. It takes scanned words that optical character recognition software reported undetectable and presents them for humans to decipher as CAPTCHA words alongside words recognized by the computer. (Wikipedia)

    CAPTCHAs are being used in a distributed system where human intelligence is helping ìbook-scanning project of the Internet Archive, a nonprofit project in San Francisco that aims to digitize millions of public-domain books and put them online for free.î (Wired Magazine)

    It made me reconsider CAPTCHAs that are still a barrier to commenting but have a good side nonetheless.

    PS: Unfortunately your link to the project is broken (html gone wild).

  3. Jim

    Thanks to Jill for the word on the Archive video.

  4. Jim

    Thanks to Jill for the word on the Archive video.

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