[bksvol-discuss] Re: Google Books and Bookshare

  • From: Kelly Pierce <kellytalk@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 11 Nov 2015 05:05:28 -0600

The national Federation of the Blind has been working with HathiTrust
on access to its massive digital book collection. HathiTrust is a
consortium of libraries engaged in digitizing print books at their
libraries. Many have collaborated with Google who has paid for a lot
of the scanning.

I live in a state with one of the leading HathiTrust institutions, the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It has more than 13
million books and is the fourth largest library in the United States.
Illinois residents can access the physical book collection in person
or through inter-library loan at their local public library. This is
in contrast to the Harvard, Yale and University of Chicago libraries
that are of similar size but not accessible to the public. Books are
received in a few days from the University of Illinois following a
request. Virtually any book someone wants, I can request and receive
it free within days for scanning into Bookshare. While this is a huge
archive of books, a lot of it is government documents, academic
publications and foreign-language books. Still, there is likely an
incredible amount of useful material here.

Vans packed with books from the University of Illinois, the University
of Chicago, and other public and private libraries go to a processing
center in the south Chicago suburbs for scanning.

It might be useful to learn from NFB leadership what their current
thoughts and efforts are in regard to making the HathiTrust collection
available to the blind. Realize the Internet Archive is currently
available to blind persons. The quality is not as good as that of
Bookshare, but it is a level of access that has not existed before.

Kelly



On 11/11/15, Cindy Rosenthal <grandcyn77@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

I doubt they'd be accessible,i.e., in the proper format for navigation;
even a lot ( many? most?) PQ books apparently aren't (or am I wrong? But if
they were available and accessible to Bookshare members, that would
wonderful for members, wouldn't it be. But it would be very bad for me.
Volunteering for bookshare is what gives my life purpose, since my children
are raised. I can't volunteer at my local library any more because it's
too hard for me physically to get around.
Cindy

On Tue, Nov 10, 2015 at 6:18 PM, Roger Loran Bailey <
dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

This is a question that Madeleine would have to look into, but I wanted
to
address the whole list because I expect that many of you might be
intrigued
by the idea like I am. Some years ago there was a lot of discussion in
the
news about Google Books because of the copyright holders being aghast at
the possibility that Google was about to make millions of copyrighted
books
available to everyone. At the time I mentioned on this list that
Bookshare
should already have access to them. As I understood the copyright law and
as I still understand it Bookshare should be able to just acquire those
millions of books without having to get permission from anyone. I think
the
number of books was something like nine million. At the time Pavi was the
volunteer coordinator. I think that in the line of Madeleine predecessors
she was about the third back in line. She answered my comments with the
statement that Bookshare was in talks with Google about that very thing.
Oh
boy! I thought. The Bookshare collection could grow by millions of books
at
any time! Well, that was a number of years ago now and I have heard
absolutely nothing about it from any source, Bookshare or elsewhere. So I
am now asking about it. Is there any chance of Bookshare getting hold of
those millions of Google books or not? I would add that if it ever
happens
the volunteer program would quickly disappear. If publisher quality books
make it hard to find something to scan just think what the influx of the
entire Google books collection would do.
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