I appreciated Ricky Erway’s post, “May I speak Openly about mass digitization?” for putting Google Books and mass digitization into perspective. The bottom line here is that the more that information becomes freely accessible the better off we all are. With all the paranoia resulting from the fear of a full-blown Google takeover, it’s easy to overlook the fact that Google is a business and approaches its projects with a pretty single-minded business mentality. I am reminded of another Managing Technology piece that I read by William C. Dougherty published January 2010 in which he addresses the question will Google Books make libraries obsolete? Dougherty points to the example that in Google’s schema Hamlet is classified under “Antiques and Collectibles.” The reason for this is because the company is using Book Industry Standards and Communications subject headings rather than Library of Congress. Libraries will always be relevant for serious research needs.
Dougherty, William C. “The Google Books Project: will it make libraries obsolete?.” The journal of academic librarianship 36, no. 1 (2010): 86-89.