Computers in Libraries (CIL) 2011 Opening

James Crawford, Engineering Director for Google Books,  was scheduled to make the opening speech of the conference, but his plane was late, so the panel, Roy Tenant, Dick Kaser, Stephen Abram, and Marshall Breeding, decided to have an impromptu discussion on Google Books.

It was noted that Google has been busy digitizing print books in research libraries and has around 15 million books in their database now.  This collection raises the questions of how books will be treated in the future.  Will books loose their unique identity in the merged data of books, serials and Audio Visual?  Will chapters be simply longer articles?

With Google siting on top of digitized books, and a search engine, what will be the role of libraries in the future?  Since Google is paying for all this, who will ultimately own the digitized data?  Will future access and search results depend on what advertiser has paid for a premium search position?

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