Google: Libraries? We Don’t Need no Steenking Libraries!

The WSJ is reporting tonight that Google is set to radically expand its book search service, and combine that, sort of, with Google Scholar. It is a bibliophile bonanza:

In a dramatic expansion to an existing Google service that makes books searchable online, the Mountain View, Calif., company will scan the entire library of the University of Michigan, which includes seven million volumes. It also will make available online large parts of the libraries at Stanford University and the University of Oxford, as well as books from Harvard University and the New York Public Library.
The initiative has the potential to change the way people view their libraries, as they are able to find information from books without ever setting foot in the library itself. It also intensifies Google’s competition with Internet retailer Amazon.com Inc., which itself offers a service for searching within books.
Under the new program, consumers will be able to type key words into Google’s main Web search site just as they currently do. Links to portions of text from the library books will then show up in the results. The books-related results will be set apart at the top of the search-result page. When users click on a book-related result, they will see images of the relevant scanned pages with their search terms highlighted.
Depending on agreements with a book’s publisher or author, the user will then be able to browse a portion of the book or the entirety. Starting today, some of the books already digitized at the University Michigan will go online. Piggybacking on a separate database, Google’s service allows consumers to type in their ZIP Code and see if books that show up in their search results are owned by libraries near them.

Related posts:

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  2. Google vs. MSN: Ranked Results
  3. Google Bidding Rules? We Don’t Need Any Steenking Rules
  4. Google Purchased Neotonic — Or Not. Maybe.
  5. Google Offers …Free Email?

Comments

  1. Blogosphere response to Google’s library deal

    As might be expected, Google’s decision to digitize the library holdings of several major research institutions (including the holdings of the New York Public Library) has generated a lot of buzz and speculation in the blogosphere. Props to The Shifted…

  2. Google’s library plan has achilles heal

    Google’s promise to digitize or scan in thousands of books from some of the major libraries in the world leaves me with one simple question. Who’s going to do the proofreading? I realize there are high speed scanners available but I wonder how accurate…