Its been a long time coming — we originally tried working with Google on their pilot project before they had made the service more public…but we use Innovate Interface’s Webbridge and there had been some incompatibilities between the two projects. III has since worked to iron them out so that we could participate and as you can see from the picture, there we are…
However, I wonder quite often if this is necessarily a good thing. I don’t mind leveraging Google — what concerns me most is three things:
1) as a community, I wonder if we are not giving too much away to Google for free. Google has done and is doing some very impressive things — but in large part, many of these impressive services will be build on the backs of the library community — either in terms of infrastructure (google scholar) or labor (Google prints). Surely, we will see some benefit but I wonder if the benefits that are communities receive will be equal to the benefit that Google is getting from Libraries.
2) giving Google the library stamp of approval. Libraries and library vendors have a number of projects that are specifically developed to work with Google and to allow Google to work with their services. In some sense, the library community is pushing its own users to Google and then wondering why they are using Google instead of their services…we’ve basically told users that Google’s index is authortative (in so many words) — or at least that’s the impression that I think one would probably get when looking at how quickly the library community is falling over itself to handover services to Google.
3) up until a few years ago, privacy advocates, etc. were very pro-Google. Within a few years, this has changed. Google is becoming the “evil empire”. How did that shift happen? Its not a question that I can answer but also is something that has given me some pause as of late.
Anyway…just some random thoughts.