google print

My thoughts on Google Print, such as they are.

Benjamin asked for my opinion on Google Print. I started to reply in the comments, but it quickly grew from a small reply to something entry-sized:

I haven’t blogged on Google Print because I haven’t decided what I think about it. It’s gotten coverage on a variety of librarian blogs, as well as some public radio programs that I’ve heard.

The way I see it, it’s often difficult to find material in books because they aren’t always indexed very well. Unlike many journals, they aren’t available full-text so that you can search the entire book. Some companies are providing books in full-text formats, and there are several models for it, but their emphasis is on new books. I think what Google Print has to offer is full-text searching of old and out of print books. Often these have useful information for modern scholars.

My concern about Google Print is twofold:
1. Copyright — They need to be careful in not stepping over the line of copyright or else the whole project may be tainted.
2. Searching — If I’m doing scholarly research, I don’t want to get 10,000 hits on a keyword search. I’m not sure how Google’s relevance rankings will work for books, but I hope that the search results will be as precise and accurate as a good reference database’s.

I’m keeping an open mind, waiting to see how it all turns out. I don’t want to trash Google Print just because it may step on the toes of libraries. I do hope that libraries will keep the books that are scanned into Google Print, because I doubt our users who want to read the whole book rather than gleaning information from parts of it will be willing to read it on a computer screen or print out the entire thing. On the other hand, our emerging users are more comfortable with screen text than even my generation, so I could be wrong.

e-books

I’m going to be getting a Palm Pilot for my birthday, and one reason why I wanted it (beyond all of the obvious function and use for work) is because of an article I read about someone using it to read their e-book while on a camping trip (they had left their print book at home by accident). The idea of that intrigued me so much that I wanted to try it out myself. I haven’t been a big fan of the e-book craze, and buying an expensive piece of technology just to read a book never appealed to me, but if I can read it on my PDA, then why not? Unfortunately, it looks like e-books might have a bit of a setback. Barnes & Noble has announced that it is no longer going to sell them, and if the other major online book sellers decide not to fuss with e-books anymore, then the publishers may decide to drop the format altogether.

Continue reading “e-books”

muffins

I have added a link to Powell’s books on the left. They have a good selection, and if you purchase anything through that link, I get a commission that will go towards paying off my school debt. Alternatively, there is always Save Anna.

Kentucky is attempting to narrow the information technology gap by mandating that all new housing units funded more than 50% by the Kentucky Housing Corporation have to be wired for broadband Internet access. In this day and age, it is virtually a necessity for education that kids have access to the Internet at home. Now, even low-income kids in Kentucky have the potential to succeed as well as their peers from wealthier families.

More censorship from the warmongers. Two activists in New York were arrested and held in jail for several hours after hanging flyers with pictures of ordinary Iraqi citizens around the city.

My sister sent me a link to a website that has cute and artsy flash films about muffins. I liked “Feed Me” best of all the ones I watched.