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A young entrepreneur wants to turn the library world upside down by building a free online book catalog that anyone can update. Many academic librarians are wary of the project because it will allow non-librarians, who may be prone to errors, to catalog books. But some young librarians are rallying around the idea because it may make their collections more visible on the Web.
His catalog, dubbed Open Library, is set to go live in early March with records on 20 million books. The goal is to create a comprehensive Web page about any book ever published.
The article also discusses the potential friction between Open Library and WorldCat. Will the success of the former spell doom for the latter? How will librarians respond to the invitation to send records to one or the other, or both? Stay tuned.