Google and public libraries: A metablog

This post at the Official Google Blog comments on Google’s plan for citywide wireless broadband in Mountain View (where I live and work).

Here’s the great quote:

To this end, I am proud to be working with the City Council, the city librarian, the police department, numerous neighborhood associations, both of the school superintendents, and (of course) the bookmobile driver. And huge thanks in particular to Ellis Burns at the City of Mountain View.

Yes, Mountain View does have a bookmobile. (This city of 72,000 doesn’t have any branch libraries, and I suspect given the shape and nature of the city that’s sensible. The main library is heavily used, and got a great shout-out just this week from a Palo Alto writer holding it up as superior to Palo Alto’s libraries–a situation which, if true, comes about partly because Palo Alto has more branches than it can afford to run properly.)

Anyway: Look at the order. The city librarian comes right after the City Council, and the bookmobile driver gets special notice.

Anyone who thinks Google is out to replace public libraries really doesn’t understand Google very well. Not that I do, but this post is certainly an indicator of corporate intentions.

(A question for down the road: Will we be able to drop our recently-added DSL account in favor of free wi-fi? We’ll have to see. Given that we don’t get cell phone coverage within our house, I’m not too sanguine: “Citywide coverage” doesn’t necessarily mean high-bandwidth coverage in every physical location within the city. But it might…or, at the least, the presence of free wi-fi may help to convince SBC to keep the DSL prices low!)

One Response to “Google and public libraries: A metablog”

  1. Blake Says:

    Anyone who thinks Google is out to replace public libraries really doesn’t understand Google very well.

    Unfortunatly I’m afraid those are the people who will be making the decisions. My feeling has always been it doesn’t matter what we think, but if enough people think Google et. al. are a good replacement for public libraries then it will be. I don’t know if they’re “out to” replace libraries, but in a growing number of minds they are replacing libraries.


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