Relying on Google's proposed settlement with book authors over Google Book Search, the University of Michigan has amended its contract with Google to digitize the university library's vast holdings, UMich announced.
The agreement opens up the U-M library's extensive collections of 8 million works to readers and students throughout the United States with free previews, the ability to buy access to the university’s collections online and through subscriptions at other institutions.
Through provisions in Google's pending settlement with authors and publishers and the amended U-M agreement, Google will provide a free public access terminal, allowing every public and collegiate library in the country that chooses—from those in small towns to those at large universities—equal access to the U-M materials.
The agreement also calls for Google to contribute millions of dollars to establish up to two new research centers where scholars will be able to conduct research that would not be possible without the large number of digitized works.
This is all dependent on court approval of the proposed settlement, and this new agreement with Michigan is one way for Google to argue in favor of it. InfoWeek quotes a statement by Google engineering director Dan Clancy:
Our agreement with authors and publishers will allow anyone in the U.S. to benefit from the wealth of knowledge contained in our nation's most renowned libraries.
The American Library Association points out to Ars Technica that the Michigan deal
It's a step, and it's good for Michigan, but it does not provide a mechanism for all libraries to request a review of pricing.