The Google Scholar & Book Search Question

I love to see emails like this from our staff ...

Have you seen what Google is doing to facilitate book and journal searching? If so what is your impression on it's impact on libraries? I thought it might be something you might want to put in an installment of TechBytes. Check out the following links. They have really sparked my interest but I am concerned about how it would affect us.

Google Book Search (and the Library Project)

Google Scholar Search (support for libraries)

... for it's an indication that we're not keeping our heads stuck in the sand. -- Thanks Christie (IB) for the email prompt. :)

Anyway, the question above is a pretty loaded one and to be honest I'm not sure at this point that I have enough insight into these recent Google projects to form a full impression yet. What I can say about both of these, is that from a user perspective I like the idea of being able to being able to see snippets from inside a book (Google Book Search) before I decide to purchase or check it out. Like browsing in a great library or bookstore, this allows me to do some of this from the comfort of home. But for me it definitely doesn't replace reading or viewing the book itself. And that's where I still think good libraries have a stronghold.

As for Google Scholar, this recently released project also has caught my attention as well and like Window's Academic Live search tool, I think it has the potential of really changing the way our users access inforamtion typically found in library subscription databases. What I find most interesting about both the developments of Google Scholar and Windows Academic Live is that it is a clear indication that there is both a mainstream market for authoritative/trusted searching ( i.e. the users are finally catching onto to what librarians have known all along - that just because it's on the Internet doesn't mean it's reliable) and a clear need for it.

So where does that leave libraries? Good question - I think in some ways we're still right where were are - offering leisure, life long learning and reference/homework services to our users (albeit the leisure and LLL pursuits weigh heavier these days - which is also where I think we have our greatest future) ... that is until Google or Live start gobbling up publisher resources and/or vendors like Ebsco, Gale and Proquest.

What are your thoughts about Scholar? Book Search? or both?

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1 comment:

library2.0 said...

Hi Helene, interesting article about Google scholar and book search. Although Google scholar is great for academia, I feel a better site is

The opening page points out:-
'CiteULike automatically extracts the citation details, so there's no need to type them in yourself.'

I find it a lot easier to use than scholar and has a lot more content.