Libraries and Google’s On-demand eBooks

December 6, 2010

A colleague of mine told me a few minutes ago that Google announced it will start selling ebooks through Google Book Search today. I did a preliminary search for Mark Twain’s authorized autobiography here and sure enough, there is a large button that says Buy Now.

Here is the Google restrictions from their Terms of Use:

You may not sell, rent, lease, distribute, broadcast, transfer, or assign your rights to the Digital Content or any portion of it to any third party except as expressly permitted by Google. Provided, however, that nothing in the Terms of Service shall prohibit any uses of Digital Content that would otherwise be permitted under the United States Copyright Act. In addition, you may not remove any watermarks, labels, or other proprietary notices on or in the Digital Content. If you have multiple Google accounts with different user names, you may transfer Digital Content out of an account and into another account, provided you are the owner of each such account and provided Google has enabled a feature of the Service allowing such transfers. You acknowledge and agree that Google may place limits on the number of Devices and/or software applications you may use to access Digital Content and that such limits may be set by Google at any time at Google’s discretion. You acknowledge and agree that Google may record and store the unique device identifier numbers of your Devices in order to enforce such limits.

What is most relevant to libraries? “If you have multiple Google accounts with different user names, you may transfer Digital Content out of an account and into another account, provided you are the owner of each such account and provided Google has enabled a feature of the Service allowing such transfers.”

It appears that Google is aware of the needs of individuals to transfer books from personal devices. Hopefully they will be open to talks with libraries who wish to share books with their users for short periods of time–or perhaps to have institutional logins which will allow all affiliated users with authentication to read (and one day download?) the content.

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Goodreads Adds Google Book Preview

March 18, 2009

Goodreads now offers a link to previews of books through Google Book Search when available. You can view and search the text while still inside Goodreads. One thing that would be nice is a jump-to-page option, but that’s okay. For more of the GoogleBook functionality, Goodreads also links out to the GoogleBook page for the book.

This is part of the reason why I love Goodreads. It’s not that they are innovative–it’s that their innovations are so useful (e.g., does anyone else think it’s cool that it will search WorldCat?).

As an old cataloger,  I wish our OPACs were as versatile and useful as Goodreads and other book-lover sites.


Library Brand Doodling

February 13, 2008

Google is a master a self-promotion. They are opening a contest to see who can come up with the best “doodle” on their brand. Wouldn’t it be cool to do something like this for a library? Anyone in the community could come up with a fun rendition of the library’s brand for a special event or day. One more method to increase library user involvement and especially a sense of ownership and loyalty.