The Google Book settlement and academic libraries

Joint, Nicholas (2009) The Google Book settlement and academic libraries. Library Review, 58 (5). pp. 333-340. ISSN 0024-2535 (

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to illustrate issues surrounding the Google Book settlement in 2009, and its relevance to libraries by general discussion and examples from library practice. Design/methodology/approach – A set of projections and speculations that are both conceptual and practical in nature, based on early reactions and comments about this development. Findings – There are many philosophical and moral objections to the consequences of the Google Book settlement, and that the practical effects for academic libraries could be both positive and/or negative. The practical examples of such outcomes are designed to help clarify the implications for library and information practitioners and generate further debate. Research limitations/implications – The fact that the Book settlement is a legal arrangement between parties in a civil court makes in depth research analysis of a public nature very difficult – which is in itself one of the main themes of the paper. Practical implications – The teasing out of the real-life consequences of the settlement are intended be helpful to the library practitioner. Originality/value – This paper tries to offer an early insight into an important new development in information retrieval history from the point of view of academic librarians, in contrast to much contemporary comment, which has come from authors and rights holders.