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The impacts of Google digitization projects on libraries



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Presentation by J. Jasmine Chmiel at the Symposium on Information and Technology in the Arts and Humanities (April 22 & 23, 2015). The Symposium was sponsored by the Special Interest Groups for the Arts and Humanities (SIG AH) and Visualization, Images, and Sound (SIG VIS) of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T).

In 2003, Google embarked on the largest scale mass-digitization project that has ever been attempted, called Google Print, later re-named Google Books. Some libraries have partnered with Google in the mass digitization process, allowing them to develop their digital collections with an expedience and efficiency that they would unlikely achieve without Google’s collaboration; others are keeping their distance, for fear of legal and copyright issues. All are concerned about quality control issues, and how to determine whether electronic resources are meeting users’ needs. Many librarians fear that Google won’t meet the exacting standards of librarians and archivists to ensure that rare materials are adequately preserved. Some also fear for their livelihoods – if e-books and scholarly materials are so easily accessible via the Internet, who will visit actual libraries and value librarian expertise? What will the digitized library of the future look like, and what role will librarians play? This paper will specifically discuss Google’s mass digitization projects, like Google Books and Google Scholar, their impact on the culture of libraries and the publishing industry, and some of the ongoing legal issues that have affected those projects. Mass digitization is happening, and it may be in the best interests of libraries and publishers to take advantage of such opportunities, in order to maximize the benefits for their organizations, and remain relevant in an era of digitized information.

Jasmine Chmiel is a graduate student at the Catholic University of America’s School of Library and Information Science, pursuing an MLIS in Law Librarianship. Jasmine also has a Certificate in Paralegal Studies from Georgetown University, and a B.A. from the Berklee College of Music. Before pursuing her Master’s at CUA, Jasmine worked as a practice group specialist for the Financial Regulatory group at Mayer Brown, and as a senior marketing and business development coordinator at Hogan & Hartson, and Latham & Watkins.

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Publication Date



Symposium on Information and Technology in the Arts and Humanities (ASIS&T SIG AH and SIG VIS)


Digital Humanities, Information Science, Library Science, Information Technology, ASIS&T, Google, mass digitization, Association for Information Science and Technology


Library and Information Science

The impacts of Google digitization projects on libraries