What Libraries Did with Google Books

A commentary on two different articles about a supposedly failed project


  1. For a supposedly failed and abandoned effort, the Google Books project sure is getting a lot of press lately. Two articles in the month of April! First there was Backchannel...
  2. (I had some follow up comments on the Backchannel story, which I posted on Twitter. More on that in a minute.)
  3. Then, last week, there was the Atlantic.
  4. Before I had a chance to read the Atlantic story, I asked a question.
  5. Turns out the answer was YES! But it's pretty much the same storm, different story. So I'm just going to do something incredibly lazy and cite the whole thread again.

    Remember, I wrote all this after the Backchannel article, but if The Atlantic article came out first I would written much the same.

  6. If you don't believe it, ask those who were there.
  7. Woops! That should have said we reviewed 600k and found a little over 300k in the public domain (sorry--I was in a tweet fever). By the way, we were able to do this because libraries donated the time of their staff to the project! Over 30 libraries. Over 100 different people. And also because the Institute of Museum and Library Services provided startup and program management funding -- thanks IMLS! I know a lot of folks who are glad their taxes help fund you.