Library Associations Request Court’s Oversight of Google Book Search Settlement

12 Mag Library Associations Request Court’s Oversight of Google Book Search Settlement

Information Today,  May 11, 2009
The American Library Association (ALA), the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) have filed joint comments with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for the judge to consider in his ruling on the proposed Google Book Search Settlement. The associations asked the judge to exercise vigorous oversight of the interpretation and implementation of the settlement to ensure the broadest possible benefit from the services the settlement enables. Collectively, these three library associations represent more than 139,000 libraries in the U.S., employing more than 350,000 librarians and other personnel. The associations are both authors and publishers of books, and thus fall within both subclasses of plaintiffs. The brief filed with the court states that the associations do not oppose the settlement. “The Settlement has the potential to provide unprecedented public access to a digital library containing millions of books.” But it notes that this library will be under Google’s control with an “absence of competition for the services.” It states that “The Settlement could compromise fundamental library values such as equity of access to information, patron privacy, and intellectual freedom.”