The National Library of France is not happy with Google’s effort to scan and integrate millions of books into its Web search. Jean-Noel Jeanneney, President of the library, wrote in an editorial that he is concerned Google’s initiative to digitalize volumes at five leading libraries will reflect a unipolar worldview dominated by the English language and American culture.
Jeanneney has designed a parallel program as a counterweight against the perceived political and cultural significance of Google’s project.
However his words may appear, Jeanneney insists that his remarks were not intended to be anti-American, and went out of his way to commend the short-term effects of Google’s work as a “Messianic dream” that would “profit” under-privileged populations.
In the long run, the librarian-in-chief cautioned against the domination of America for generations to come and its potential to skew thought without reflecting the diversity of civilizations.