Google did not punk us

I really was planning on staying quiet about How Google Used Librarians…and Got Away With It and how Google punked us, but then it hit the Chronicle of Higher Ed (subscription required).

It seems some segment of the librarian community feels that Google’s failure to update the Google Librarian Central blog for over a year is evidence that the entire library community was used/punked by Google. As far as I can tell, the argument is that Google “used librarians to build up good PR in our community” and “their marketing department (those sly dogs) decided to buddy up with ALA and the entire library community to gain access to these print treasures so that they can scan and index them”. Apparently, by neglecting the Google Librarian Central blog, Google failed to live up to their side of the deal. And, apparently, the Google libraries were really punked, and now have some kind of obligation to the rest of the library community to call Google out on this.

Seriously, I don’t get it.
Every member of the library community has access to the fruits of Google’s deals with the Google libraries: Google Book Search.
Want to know what’s new at Google Book Search? Read Inside Google Book Search.
What exactly does Google owe to the library community at large? Google’s obligations to the colleges and universities with which it has contractual arrangements are presumably spelled out in those contracts. And, as far as I know, none of those schools are complaining about any kind of breach of contract.
Also, what Meredith Farkas says.

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