The latest library to join Google’s ambitious book digitization project is Keio University Libraries inÂ Japan. Keio University Libraries boost of around 120,000 titles of books in the public domain and would add to the growing number of books Google has been digitizing to make available to the public online.Yuichiro Anzai, Dean of Keio University says:
Making the out-of-copyright portion of our library collection available online will make it easier for Keio University students and faculty to do research. Joining the Google Library Project also allows us to share our collection online with researchers worldwide, a step very much in keeping with Keio’s approach to the creation and dissemination of knowledge in the digital age.
Keio University Libraries is the first library in Asia that joined the Google project. I remember a discussion at the Filipino Librarians Google Group about a local Philippine institution being offered by Google to have their collection digitized and be made available online. Unfortunately, the instituion declined Google’s offer since they don’t want Google to capitalize on their collection.
Hopefully, other Philippine libraries will not do the same, in case Google offers to digitize their collection in the future. I still believe that Google’s Book Digitization project is a good step towards globalization of library and information resources and a good way of information sharing. Something that libraries has been advocating since time immemorial.