Meanwhile a judge has tossed out the Google Books settlement, saying it should be opt-in rather than opt-out.
For both K-12 purposes and as a way to bring together zillions of books as Google wanted, we need a universal national digital library system more than ever. And, yes, it should be genuinely public and not just for the elite and help both “ordinary” library users and those with special needs. Such an approach would be far more library-friendly than turning over America’s library system to Google, in effect—or foundations and nonprofits. Those risks aren’t immediate. But long term, they are very real. Help for public libraries from foundations and nonprofits? Definitely! But not control.