Google to Scan Lyon’s Library

In Global Trade Talk by Siobhan O'Leary

By Siobhan O’Leary


The city of Lyon’s library has signed an agreement with Google, allowing the search giant to scan around 500,000 titles in its collection over the next 10 years. According to a CNN report, Google will scan the documents free of charge and, in exchange, will have the right to use them commercially for the next 25 years. Though library representatives see the deal as a way to promote French culture, there are plenty of people, like French minister of culture Frederic Mitterand, who feel that digitization of French texts should be left to the French. One billion dollars have already been set aside for the French government’s own online database, Gallica, though the project has been criticized for its lack of progress (only around 145,000 books have been scanned since 1997). CNN also reports that Google is keeping the scanning location top secret to ensure the security of the texts, which include a 16th century bible.

About the Author

Siobhan O'Leary

Siobhan O’Leary is a literary agent, translator and writer based in Berlin. She previously worked in the Foreign Rights department of the Crown Publishing Group (Random House) and at the publishing consulting firm Market Partners International.