Bringing Library Books and More Online
The libraries of some of the biggest academic institutions in the world have joined forces with Google to digitally scan library books and make them searchable online, Google announced Tuesday. The move follows several other recent, similar initiatives from the company.
Google has been branching out to deliver targeted, specialized Web search engines. On the heels of delivering its recent service for searching within the text of books (http://print.google.com), the company has launched a prerelease version of what could eventually become the world's most exhaustive academic library. Google Scholar (http://scholar.google.com) is aimed at scientists, academic researchers who want to search across peer-reviewed papers, books, abstracts, and more. The company has academic institutions and publishers on board as partners.
On Tuesday, Google announced that the libraries of Harvard, Stanford, the University of Michigan, the University of Oxford, and The New York Public Library will help Google digitally scan their books and make them searchable online, within Google.
"Even before we started Google, we dreamed of making the incredible breadth of information that librarians so lovingly organize searchable online," said Larry Page, Google co-founder and president of Products, in a statement. "We're pleased to announce this program to digitize the collections of these amazing libraries so that every Google user can search them instantly. Our work with libraries further enhances the existing Google Print program, which enables users to find matches within the full text of books, while publishers and authors monetize that information. Google's mission is to organize the world's information, and we're excited to be working with libraries to help make this mission a reality."
"We believe passionately that such universal access to the world's printed treasures is mission-critical for today's great public university," added Mary Sue Coleman, president of the University of Michigan, in conjunction with Google's announcement.
While it will take years to scan in all these vast libraries, some books have already been scanned and entered into the Google index, and Google results will now include new links (book titles) whenever there are books related to the original query. Clicking on a title will deliver a Google Print page where users can browse the full text of public domain works and excerpts and/or bibliographic data of copyrighted material. Library content will be displayed in keeping with copyright law.