Is Google Waging a Public Relations Campaign on Libraries?

From the ALA Washington Office District Dispatch Blog:

Recently, Google representatives have initiated contact with members of the library community to explain, from their perspective, the proposed Google Book Search settlement agreement that was recently reached among Google, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the Authors Guild.  Specifically, Google is reaching out to library leaders, likely in response to an increase in interest in the community and the press about the concerns libraries have raised in response to the proposed private settlement agreement.

You will recall that the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) filed comments on May 4, 2009, with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for the judge to consider in his ruling on the proposed settlement.  In that filing, the library associations asked the judge to exercise vigorous oversight of the interpretation and implementation of the settlement to ensure the broadest possible benefits from the services the settlement enables.  The associations also asserted that although the proposed settlement has the potential to provide public access to millions of books, many of the features of the settlement, including the absence of competition for the new services, could compromise fundamental library values including equity of access to information, patron privacy and intellectual freedom.

In response to questions we are receiving from our members about these potential “one-on-one” meetings with Google engineers and analysts who are developing Google Book Search and who will implement the agreement (if approved by the court), we are sharing some suggested questions to ask, should you decide to meet…Read more.