You Can’t Put All Your Eggs…

…in one basket without the risk of making a really big omelet. Interesting piece on fair use and the Google Book Search project over at Inside Higher Ed. While primarily about preserving fair use, it raises a very interesting debate: which is better (or worse), a single totalizing digital collection or a variety of separate, publisher-controlled silos for digital books?

Some libraries and publishers are addressing this issue for electronic journals by creating a “dark archive” so that if they become unavailable through the publisher they are not lost forever. The libraries involved in the Google project asked for digital copies of scanned books for the same reason – to ensure a copy would be preserved – though it seems to have made some publishers imagine the worst.

About Barbara Fister

I'm an academic librarian at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. Like all librarians at our small, liberal arts institution I am involved in reference, collection development, and shared management of the library. My area of specialization is instruction, with research interests also in media literacy, popular literacy, publishing, and assessment.

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