Google Books

I am not going to discuss the settlement, but do want to think about how GoogleBooks changes the process for telephone reference. I got a telephone reference call today, and the user wanted to know if we had a certain book. My usual process is to check the library catalog, and then, if we don’t have the book, to look into Worldcat to see if another local library owns it. In this case, it was owned by a local library, and that was the end of the search. But is it? If I’m looking for an article, I often continue on to Google, and search, just to see if we might find a copy lingering out on the web on someone’s cv or institutional repository. But I don’t do that with books. Until now.  My interlibrary loan director had talked recently about a soon to be published article by Barbara Coopey, Assistant Head of Access Services, Penn State University built upon the poster session, “Utilizing Google Books to Fulfill Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Requests.”  So, this popped into my mind–I NEED to check Googlebooks. And it was there, or at least almost all of it, except the first 38 pages.  It is really quite extraordinary. And lifechanging.

About effervescentlibrarian

UX Librarian at Rice University, Houston, Texas.
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