Google Book Search article

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jan 6 14:52:33 UTC 2009

*Long* before 9/11, it was the custom among libraries to discard all
information connnecting patrons and material used by those patrons
ASAP and to refuse to disclose that information, absent a court order
at the very least, during the period of its availability.

That was and is the practice of the library system at Harvard and I
have no reason to consider Harvard to be unique in this respect.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

On Tue, Jan 6, 2009 at 8:32 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Re: Google Book Search article
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 1/5/2009 03:49 AM, Jesse Sheidlower wrote:
>>A nice article from the NYT on what the changes in Google
>>Books will do for accessibility, with a leadoff anecdote
>>featuring our own Ben Zimmer:
>  From the article:  "Mr. Clancy was monitoring search queries
> recently when one for "concrete fountain molds" caught his attention.
> The search turned up a digital version of an obscure 1910 book, and
> the user had spent four hours perusing 350 pages of it."
> Does that mean that Google knows every book I've looked at via Google
> Books?  And for how long does Google keep that information?  After
> the post-9/11 security acts many non-online libraries began
> discarding any information connecting users to books soon after they
> no longer needed it.
> Joel
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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