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Archives for Libraries

Microsoft Exits the Mass Digitization Business

Last week Microsoft announced that it will cease its Live Search program and the associated programs of mass digitization that it has been undertaking with many libraries. The response in the library world has generally been one of resigned sadness that the only big player other than Google is getting out of the free (to […]

John Wilkin and others on Openness and its opposites

In a recent AP article about mass digitization at Michigan (available here via Salon), my colleague John Wilkin was amusingly misquoted as characterizing some comments of Brewster Kahle’s as “theoretical,” when John meant polemical.” John has a nice blog post on the on the subject, with responses and rejoinders from both Brewster and from Carl […]

Oxford, Cambridge and Sage Sue Georgia State

It is with dismay that I read in today’s New York Times that three distinguished academic presses, Oxford, Cambridge, and Sage, are suing Georgia State for copyright infringement with regard to course websites. I cannot know the merits of the case, but two points are telling. One is that the transaction seems to be between […]

One Million Digitized Books

Today the University of Michigan Library is celebrating a significant milestone: We have just put the one millionth book digitized from our collections online. (I recommend clicking on the link. The page is pretty cool.) As far as I know Michigan is the first library to have one million books from its own collections digitized […]

Recessions and Libraries

In this post, I get to be both an economist and a librarian. I want to argue that recessions pose at least two kinds of problems for academic libraries, one of them quite obvious, the other one less so. The obvious problem is that recessions bring with them reductions in income – the stuff that […]

E-Books and P-Books

Like everyone else who follows the blogs and listserves that everyone else follows, over the past month or so I have had the opportunity to skim thousands of comments on the new Amazon Kindle. I haven’t actually played with a Kindle, yet, but if ever a subject were well covered by the secondary literature, this […]

Teaching School

Paul Duguid’s comment on an earlier post of mine gets to important issues that I expect to discuss repeatedly (although not repetitiously) in this space. Among the big questions that he raises are these two: (1) How good a job will Google Book Search do? (2) What are the consequences that flow from the answer […]

Quick response to Siva Vaidhyanathan

[This is a reposting of a comment I made in response to Siva Vaidhyanathan’s questions about my previous post. I am traveling, and can only produce brief answers to his questions now. Later this week I’ll get to most of the issues in more detail here.] Let me start by reminding everyone that I do […]

On being in bed with Google

One of the things that surprises me most about reactions to the Google Library Project is that smart people whom I respect seem to think that the only reason that a university library would be involved with Google is because, in some combination, its leadership is stupid, evil, or at best intellectually lazy. To the […]