A couple of articles

Posting to NGC4LIB

A couple of very interesting articles that seem to me to be related in some sort of “higher sense”:

From the BBC: Are libraries finished? Five arguments for and against
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12340505

From TechSpot: Google starts censoring torrent-related searches
http://www.techspot.com/news/42163-google-starts-censoring-torrent-related-searches.html

It seems that the TechSpot article could provide a sixth argument for the further need of libraries and librarians. Censorship can work in extremely subtle ways today, by adding words to a stopword list, or as Google did here by altering its autocomplete function, although the actual string search still works (i.e. if you type in “bittorrent” completely, the search will be done, but the autocomplete will not be performed although it works for other sites). Library-type catalogs do not work this way, as the furor over Popline a few years back showed http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2008/04/a-government-fu/

I am not finding fault with Google, which is, after all, a private company, but I think this may be a clear example of the differences between the interests of a private corporation versus those of a library.

-698

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