Rutgers Today: Rutgers, Google Partnership Will Provide Online Access to Nearly 190,000 Books. “Candidates for digitization include publications by federal, state and city organizations ranging from the U.S. Geological Survey to the New Brunswick Free Public Library. Documents capturing Rutgers’ rich history are also represented, such as Rutgers College alumni publications and songbooks from the New Jersey College for Women, the predecessor to Douglass College. Literary classics from Jane Austen, Jorge Luis Borges, George Eliot, John Milton, Walt Whitman and several others populate the list as well.”
XDA Developers: Leafster is a powerful search tool for the Google Books database. “Leafster is an unofficial app made by XDA Recognized Contributor StrangerWeather which uses the Google Books API in order to scour through the service’s vast collection of knowledge and, whenever possible, display snippets, partial previews, and even download the file entirely. Leafster also looks aesthetically pleasing to use since it tries to follow Google’s Material Theme guidelines whenever possible, adding a few twists of their own as well.”
Jerusalem Post: National Library of Israel uploads 120,000 historic books online. “The books that are expected to be uploaded will, according to NLI, include all of the library’s out-of-copyright, royalty-free books which have not yet been digitized. Around 45% of the books are written in Hebrew script in Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino and other languages of the Jewish world. The rest of the works are in a variety of languages, including Latin, German, French, Arabic and Russian.” This is a project that’s expected to be completed in a couple of years, so the headline is a little premature.
University of Georgia: UGA partners with Google Books for digital access. “University of Georgia Libraries’ books will soon transcend shelves and be available online to students, faculty and members of the community in Athens and around the world. Through a new partnership with Google, about 120,000 of the Libraries’ 4.5 million volumes will be digitized, allowing further access to literary, historic, scientific and reference books and journals through UGA’s library catalog as well as one of the largest digital book collections in the world.” Genealogists with Georgia roots, keep an eye on this — one of the categories of items being digitized is city directories.
Google Blog: 15 years of Google Books. “Today we’re unveiling a new design for Google Books on desktop and helpful features for anyone looking to read, research or simply hunt for literary treasures. We’ve redesigned Google Books so people can now quickly access details like the book’s description, author’s history and other works, reader reviews and options for where you can purchase or borrow the book. And for those using Google Books for research, each book’s bibliographies are located prominently on the page and the citation tool allows you to cite the source in your preferred format, all in one spot.”
MakeUseOf: How to Download Books From Google Books. “Google offers a vast repository of ebooks via Google Books. There’s the Google Books search engine and Google Play Books store. Both services let you save copies of books so you can read them offline. So here’s how to download books from Google Books.”
Make Tech Easier: How to Search Ngram More Effectively with Google Ngram Viewer. “Google maintains a multilingual database of published language. By scanning books en masse, Google is able to process the text and provided statistical data-based frequency of word appearance. With the Google Ngram Viewer search tool, you can search through that voluminous statistical data rapidly and effectively. By comparing the relative popularity of words, you can map how language and culture have changed over time. Ngram can do much more than simply report word frequency within Google’s vast textual corpus, however.”
Fast Company: It’s surprisingly easy to make government records public on Google Books. “While working on a recent story about hate speech spread by telephone in the ’60s and ’70s, I came across an interesting book that had been digitized by Google Books. Unfortunately, while it was a transcript of a Congressional hearing, and therefore should be in the public domain and not subject to copyright, it wasn’t fully accessible through Google’s archive….But, as it turns out, Google provides a form where anyone can ask that a book scanned as part of Google Books be reviewed to determine if it’s in the public domain. And, despite internet companies sometimes earning a mediocre-at-best reputation for responding to user inquiries about free services, I’m happy to report that Google let me know within a week after filling out the form that the book would now be available for reading and download.”
Thomas Ash: Orphan Works, Google Books and the merits of fair use. “I started this post many months ago, but never got round to finishing it. Inspired by a recent post on fair use by fellow #citylis student @olivianesbitt I thought I’d dust of this post and finish it with a sprinkling of orphan works for good measure. When the European Commission published its i2010 digital Libraries initiative, announcing its intention of creating a single European digital library providing online access to European cultural heritage, it was clearly operating under a desire to avoid the legal wrangling faced by Google over its Google Print Library Project (Google Books).”
EdSurge: What Happened to Google’s Effort to Scan Millions of University Library Books?. “It was a crazy idea: Take the bulk of the world’s books, scan them, and create a monumental digital library for all to access. That’s what Google dreamed of doing when it embarked on its ambitious book-digitizing project in 2002. It got part of the way there, digitizing at least 25 million books from major university libraries. But the promised library of everything hasn’t come into being.”
Backchannel: How Google Book Search Got Lost. “Today, Google is known for its moonshot culture, its willingness to take on gigantic challenges at global scale. Books was, by general agreement of veteran Googlers, the company’s first lunar mission. Scan All The Books! In its youth, Google Books inspired the world with a vision of a ‘library of utopia’ that would extend online convenience to offline wisdom. At the time it seemed like a singularity for the written word: We’d upload all those pages into the ether, and they would somehow produce a phase-shift in human awareness. Instead, Google Books has settled into a quiet middle age of sourcing quotes and serving up snippets of text from the 25 million-plus tomes in its database.”
Google Play Books has a new tab. “Discover is essentially a personalized recommendation system built directly into the Google Books app. It takes a look at what you’re reading, what you’ve read, and suggests books for you to read.”
The US Supreme Court has declined to hear the Google Books case appeal. “The Supreme Court on Monday declined to intervene in a case examining whether Alphabet Inc.’s Google engaged in copyright infringement when it scanned millions of books and made them searchable online, a final blow to authors who sued the company.”
The Authors Guild has filed to take Google to the US Supreme Court. “The Authors Guild has officially asked the Supreme Court to hear its case against Google — a long-running dispute over whether copyright law allows for Google to scan and post excerpts from books for its Google Books service. The group filed a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court Thursday.”
Interesting: Unplag is launching a tool that integrates with Google Books (PRESS RELEASE). “Unplag.com, an online plagiarism detector offering several types of plagiarism checks and a report with similarities rate, announces the launch of a new tool for educators after getting official approval from the Google team. Once implemented in the first quarter of 2016, every teacher or professor regardless of the country they live in will be able to scan student works for duplications against the vast digitized collection of materials stored in the Google Books database.”