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April 2012 Wolverine Caucus Event Featuring Paul N. Courant
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April 2012 Wolverine Caucus Event Featuring Paul N. Courant


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  • 1. Libraries in the Age of Google Paul N. Courant Wolverine Caucus Lansing, MI 17 April 2012
  • 2. Introduction:Revolutions in the Library
  • 3. The LibraryImage  source:  UNC  School  of  Information  &  Library  Science  
  • 4. What does theAcademic Library do? Supports scholarship - Provides relevant information/materials to students and faculty - Provides reliable, stable, approximately permanent access to the scholarly record and associated source material. Authentic and secure. Used to go together, now not so much.
  • 5. Publication and Scholarship Ideas must be conveyed to qualify as ideas Books Polls Experiments Statistics Articles ReportsAnd without libraries, that which we know (knew) gets lost
  • 6. ProgressYou can t make it or sustain it without alibraryIn fact, you can t do much without alibrary**I get to define do, much, and library
  • 7. SharingThe Library is for Everyone -- Stephen Clark
  • 8. Some economics of libraries You are here
  • 9. What does this mean? Cost for libraries: relatively highCost for users:relatively low - Building - Infrastructure - Time - Maintenance - Research - Staff - Travel - Acquisitions - And so on...
  • 10. Public GoodsSamuelson on public goods: Each individual s consumption of that good leads tono subtraction from any other individual s consumption ofthat good.Jefferson on information: Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. Hewho receives an idea from me, receives instruction himselfwithout lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property.
  • 11. Digitization can change it all You are here
  • 12. Annual Cost of Storing a BookOpen Stack: $4.26High Density $ .86 (but not as usable)HathiTrust $ .15 (average)Big Potential Saving
  • 13. A fact about our world Except  for  the  most   arcane  materials  and  users,  that  which  is  not   available  online  will   simply  not  be  read.  
  • 14. Copyright
  • 15. The goal of copyright promote  the   Progress  of  Science  and  the  useful  Arts,  by  securing  for   limited  times  to  Authors  and  Inventors  the  exclusive  right   to  their  respective  Writings  and  Discoveries  .  .  .     United  States  Constitution,  Article  I  The  original  requirements  for  gaining  copyright  protection  (i.e.,  registration,  publication,  &  limited  scope  and  endurance)  were  more  consistent  with   learning  and  promoting  access  than  with  promoting  property.  
  • 16. Copyright  
  • 17. The length of copyrightCopyright, the good old days: 14 years 14 years And you had to register Copyright today:Life of the author +70 years No registration required (unless you want to sue)
  • 18. Copyrights between 55 and 75 years old that were still valuable in 1998Data  source:  Congressional  Research  Service,  Copyright  Term  Extension:  Estimating  the  Economic  Values  
  • 19. The street value of copyright Out of print = 95%Plausibly in copyright: 66.6% Public Domain: 28.4% Unknown: 5% UM s print collection: 7.3 million volumes
  • 20. Once upon a time, copying (aka printing) was expensive Now copying is cheap
  • 21. Distributing copies was expensive Now, also cheap The business model no longer fits the business(es).
  • 22. Cheap copying ought to helpPublication facilitates collaboration,standing on the shoulders of both giantsand the vertically challenged, which is thefundamental methodAnd new information technology greatlyreduces the cost of publication, improvingaccess across time and space . . . .
  • 23. Google & HathiTrust
  • 24. Google Books Project
  • 25. Google SettlementAccess for our CampusPublic Benefits- Print Disabilities- Public Library Kiosks- Browsing in the BookstoreResearch CorpusCollection Management
  • 26. Google Settlement ControversyMonopolyOrphan WorksPipe Dreams of Various Flavors- Nonprofits should & would have done it- Should have been public policyCurrent state of play
  • 27. What s in HathiTrust? 10,110,821 total volumes 5,372,802 book titles 266,547 serial titles 3,538,787,350 pages 453 terabytes 120 miles 8,215 tons2,803,202 volumes (~28% of total) in the public domain
  • 28. Language Distribution (1) The top 10 languages make up ~86% of all content. *As of June 13, 2011 30
  • 29. Language Distribution (2) The next 40 languages make up ~13% of all content. 31 *As of June 13, 2011
  • 30. The Future
  • 31. ChallengesIntellectual property environmentTechnology and ScaleRising journal prices, especially in Science,Technology and MedicineProblem of preservation and future access withlicensingNew Responsibilities- Large data sets- Web 2.0 (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube)
  • 32. OpportunitiesScholarship benefits from easy sharingWe are the information experts in theInformation Age, and hard problems requireexpertiseIf we can organize to cover costs, the sky isthe limitNo matter what, Michigan will be a leader
  • 33. What to Do Revise the rights environment to exploit the technology Revise individual libraries missions to exploit the technology- Sharing and scale- Local layers on top- (cataloging as poster child) Digitize wherever possible, and use digital copies wherever appropriate and legal- Information to Artifact continuum Preserve and curate the old and the new (Display the treasures) Create Institutions to Support Collaboration
  • 34. Two Futures
  • 35. Thank