Google’s Library Project Cataloging The World’s Printed Words

By Madison Lockwood

Google has taken some imaginative steps towards becoming an online library. They have a Library Project underway with several major libraries to, in essence, reproduce their “card catalogues” that provide the essentials on books, authors, publishers and content.

They have developed a Google Book Search tool within their site that allows you to search for books with content that matches your search terms. At a minimum, that will get you an author, title and publisher along with some basic information about the book.

If the book is published or written by a member of Google’s newly established literary Partner Program, your search will also produce a few pages of text from that book. The pitch to publishers and authors for this feature is that Google can be an excellent marketing tool for new publications. Based on the experience that musicians have had with MySpace, they may have an excellent point. In any case, you’ll be provided with links to bookstores that stock the book. If the book is old enough to be out of copyright, the entire text will be available on Google.


The Functions

There are several useful functions built into Google’s new literary venture. If text from the book is available, you can browse through several pages to see if it’s what you’re looking for. You can also initiate a new search within the book. There is an option to search the web for reviews of the book, should there be any available online.

Although it does not appear to be activated yet, Google intends to have Library Links for as many books as possible in its catalogue. Clicking on that option – and presumably, entering a Zip Code or other local identification – will provide information on a local library that has the book on its shelves. You can also click a button that will provide more information on the publisher, the publisher’s website and additional titles from the company.

Public Domain

The books out of copyright, or in the “public domain,” generally include domestic works published before 1923. Titles that originated in other countries are available according to the copyright laws of that nation. Books that have been published and then reissued with new material are treated as being copyrighted at the later date. Google is taking a cautious approach to protecting the rights of authors and publishers. But for all of that, it is an audacious undertaking.

The goal is to provide an “enhanced card catalogue of the world’s books” online. Further, Google would like to make this a topical feature by providing introductory presentations on books written or published by its Partners. Finally, Google intends to provide the full text on books that are in the public domain. Just how they intend to get all that copy into their servers has not been made clear; there have been a fair collection of publications issued since Gutenberg created type. Nevertheless, you’ve got to admire the commitment of resources that the project requires. If they are successful in building the database of classics and out-of-print texts they will be providing a significant service to students, amateur historians and literary addicts of every persuasion.

About the Author: Madison Lockwood is a customer relations associate, specializing in small business development, for Apollo Hosting. Apollo Hosting provides website hosting, ecommerce hosting, vps hosting, and web design services to a wide range of customers.

Source: isnare.com

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