Open Library, really open. Aaron Swartz discusses.

David Weinberger blogs about Aaron Swartz talking at the Berkman Center about the Open Library project. Pay close attention to the Q and A and think about this in terms of the Google Books post/article from yesterday. Who is really in faveor of openness? Who talks the most about openness? Want to help? They still need programmers. And book lovers.

Q: Why won’t OCLC give you the data?
A: We’d take it in any form. We’d be willing to pay. Getting through the library bureaucracy is difficult…
A: (terry) You need to find the right person at OCLC
A: We’ve talked with them at a high level and they won’t give us any information. Too bad since they’re a non-profit. Library records are not copyrightable. OCLC contractually binds libraries.

3 thoughts on “Open Library, really open. Aaron Swartz discusses.

  1. Best line ever: “Some data is unambiguous. Author names should be unambiguous.”
    Ah, they should be.
    If only they were!

  2. I recommended this post to the “uncontrolled vocabulary” library podcast for discussion (by tagging it “unvocab” on delicious). They may choose to talk about it. If so, it should be an interesting discussion. I would like all catalog records to be shared online. However, someone will still have to be paid to create these records. Perhaps the publishers could hire librarians to catalog their books and provide this information online. They already provide “Cataloging in print”, but this data is not considered to be “reliable data” (from Library Technical services of Cornell Univ.).

  3. @anarchivist: no joke! As someone who has the same name as a published author, and as a published author myself, I always think of how lumps our books together and, to my face at a lirbary conference, called this a “feature”

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