Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Custos Librarium

By now you know that I'm a big fan of librarians. The are the guardians at the gates of our world culture, they fight for the inclusion of all and the exclusion of none. Librarians will (and have) go to court and even jail to protect the privacy of their patrons. When the USA PATRIOT Act extended the writ of the federal government's surveillance efforts into the nation's libraries, the librarians and the ALA fought (semi-successfully) the legislation in the name of their library patrons. Internet search providers have a long and troubled history when it comes to privacy concerns. This is most notable in China where dissidents have been turned-over or exposed by their internet email providers. They have proven time and again their focus isn't on the privacy of their users, but on the aggregation and sale of their site-views. These are businesses and must pursue profit. Libraries are not businesses, they are a public service where free public access to information is protected. This morning, NPR asked: If Google is allowed to become the world's librarian, how will they match up to the librarians they will be replacing? (listen) (read)

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Pages to Type is a blog about books, writing and literary culture (with the occasional digression into coffee and the care and feeding of giant robots).