Sunday, October 30, 2005

Leave it to Librarians!

According to a press release from RLG, dated 29 October 2005, RLG is partnering with an impressive group of business partners to create a unique online database of books. The partners include the California Digital Library, Adobe (uh-oh!) Yahoo!, HP, Microsoft (oh well....). An ecnouraging thing about this program is that materials to be digitized will be selected and bibliographically described by RLG members and scanned from member libraries. The unique thing will be apparent association with third parties who will, for a fee, bind and deliver hard copy of any materials discovered at the site.

Excerpts from the press release follow:

RLG, a not-for-profit organization of over 150 research libraries, archives, and museums announced today that it will be a contributor to and partner with the Open Content Alliance (OCA) (www.opencontentalliance.org), a consortium that is building a permanent archive of digitized text and multimedia content. Generally, textual material from the OCA will be free to read, and in most cases, available for saving or printing using formats such as PDF.

The OCA calls this initiative the Open Library Project (www.openlibrary.org). This project will create free Web access to important book collections from around the world. Books are scanned and then offered in an interface for free reading online. The books can be downloaded, shared, and printed for free. They can also be printed for a nominal fee by a third party, who will bind and mail the book to customers. The books are always free to read at the Open Library Web site.

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