Boston Library Consortium Chooses Open Content Alliance

From the International Herald Tribune article, “Research libraries close their books to Google and Microsoft,” by Katie Hafner:

The Boston Library Consortium, a group of 19 New England institutions ((:The members of the BLC are Boston College, Boston Public Library, Boston University, Brandeis University, Brown University, the Marine Biological Laboratory & Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, MIT, Northeastern University, the State Library of Massachusetts, Tufts University, University of Connecticut, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Massachusetts Boston, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, University of Massachusetts Lowell, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, University of New Hampshire, Wellesley College, and Williams College” ))., has rejected offers from Google and Microsoft and has chosen to work instead with the Open Content Alliance to scan their print materials. There are some 34 million books in the Consortium’s libraries.

The objection seems to be that:

Libraries that agree to work with Google do so on Google’s terms, which involve access to the material only through the Google search engine, as well as restrictions on how much of it can be downloaded.

“Google could be privatizing the library system by offering a large, but private interface to millions of books,” [Brewster] Kahle said. The Open Content Alliance, he said, “is fundamentally different, coming from a community project to build joint collections that can be used by everyone in different ways.”

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