Monthly Archives: February 2015

Google’s slow fade with librarians

Librarians have been interested in the Google Books project since it began in 2004. It was a heady time to be an information worker. Google used to actively court libraries, and librarians…Then they said they were taking a break. A break? Just for the summer, they said, then didn’t update for a year. Maybe we should have taken a hint? But we were so sure that we were made for each other.”


Never trust a corporation to do a library’s job.

In a Medium article entitled “Never trust a corporation to do a library’s job,” former Kickstarter CTO Andy Baio examines how Google’s priorities are shifting from making information universally searchable and accessible to the sale of goods and information.

The business of Google stands in contrast to the Internet Archive. Google is in a perfect position to commodify information rather than make it free and open because it has shifted its business model from being a search engine to a content owner. Not only is its search enterprise supported by strategic ad placement, it is unknown whether Google gives priority to content it owns. It is arguable that there is a serious conflict of interest since Google no longer only serves up web results. The search giant owns YouTube and Google Play content and because the Google search algorithm is not publicly available, there is no way of truly knowing how information is prioritized.

Baio reminds us that Google is not a reliable archive and organizations like the Internet Archive are more committed to the democratization of information