Re: [NGC4LIB] cover image and amazon

On 25/05/2012 19:10, Ross Singer wrote:


On May 25, 2012, at 1:06 PM, James Weinheimer wrote:
Of course, this entire matter becomes exponentially more chaotic when and if we enter the world of “linked data” (heavenly chorus). 


Because when everything can be linked and mashed up into new creations, information may lose its original purpose and shape, just as the records in Worldcat can now have links to Amazon, and they don’t have to be just links, but the amazon record could actually be merged with the records in Worldcat. In the greater world of linked data, the records can be mashed up to include ads from everywhere, and who knows what else they will come up with to sell their products?

Of course, companies will use every opportunity they possibly have to sell their goods–to believe anything else is naive.

I am not saying there is anything necessarily wrong with this, but I believe the library is special since there are ethical considerations, e.g. from

  • We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests.
  • We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.
  • We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.
  • We do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, colleagues, or our employing institutions.
  • We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.

These statements are not shared by all entities going into the linked data universe. Perhaps the tools will have to change but it does seem fair to discuss it.