“This Act may be cited as the “Let Me Google That For You Act”” is meant to “streamline the collection and distribution of government information.” (https://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/2206/text).
“Let Me Google That For You Act – Repeals the National Technical Information Act of 1988, effective one year after the enactment of this Act (thus abolishes the National Technical Information Service [NTIS]).” https://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/2206. The NTIS which disseminates government scientific and technical reports will be closed because, “… you can just Google them for nothing.”
“In which the government acknowledges Google” as Kai Ryssdal puts it in an episode of Marketplace from APM (a favorite podcast of mine) a few months ago.
Text from the 133th Congress’s bill (Senate bill S.2206) –
(5) A November 2012 GAO review of NTIS made the following conclusions:
- (A) “Of the reports added to NTIS’s repository during fiscal years 1990 through 2011, GAO estimates that approximately 74 percent were readily available from other public sources.”.
- (B) “These reports were often available either from the issuing organization’s website, the Federal Internet portal (http://www.USA.gov) or from another source located through a web search.”.
- (C) “The source that most often had the report [GAO] was searching for was another website located through http://www.Google.com.”.
- (D) “95 percent of the reports available from sources other than NTIS were available free of charge.”.
(6) No Federal agency should use taxpayer dollars to purchase a report from the National Technical Information Service that is available through the Internet for free.
It is not just libraries that feel, and respond to, those competitive threats from Google.
-Joe Murphy Librarian