Google Effect on Academic Libraries

Image representing Google Book Search as depic...

Image via CrunchBase

Like most people in the library field I have taken interest in the journey of Google and their effects not only on the Internet but the world as a whole. A company born of the modern world their reach is extensively global and generation encompassing. And in 2004 Google set its eyes on the intellectual world with the announcement of its new Google Book Search. Within months those in the library world noted its stake in the success of this project. The announcement was met with fear and announcement. Google publicized that their goal was to ultimate create a universal digital library. Critics were quick to note that a company bent on making money could never compete with libraries already established for hundreds of years. However people started declaring the end of the library, touting Google as the founder of a new information society. “Though a lot has been written in both the popular and technical press, especially related to the settlement with authors and publishers, there is still in my mind a lack of clarity regarding how this project may impact libraries in the long term. If it is true that the successful completion of the project will “create the world’s largest library online,” does this necessarily also entail that libraries as we know and love them are dying?”(Dougherty, 2010)

In this paper I discussed the literature surrounding the future of books, the Google Book Search Project, and how these two things are affecting the future of academic libraries. I believed like many others, there is a distinct connection between these topics and that while Google’s idea of a universal digital library is a good idea I don’t think its time to say goodbye forever to traditional libraries. “And in the case of academic libraries, they are not the research and teaching embraced by the academy, but without their bibliographic traditions, scholarly discovery, learning, and teaching would be isolated, episodic, and limited to the harsh economy of the subject or topic attracting the greatest money or the best students.”(Shuler, 2007)

Google Effects on Academic Libraries by JPW

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