They’re all talking about it, and being a Teacher Librarian, I have to take notice!
For the last four years, Google has been digitizing millions of books, including many covered by copyright, from the collections of major research libraries, and making the texts searchable online. There are lots of wonderful resources available at Google Books. Robert Darton wrote a compelling reflection on Google and the Future of Books – what the impact of all this digitisation might be (apart from settled lawsuits), including ways in which libraries might more readily their literature and knowledge repositories with a global audience.
According to Google writing about the Future of Google Book Search and their agreement with authors and publishers,
Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Today, together with the authors, publishers, and libraries, we have been able to make a great leap in this endeavor,” said Sergey Brin, co-founder & president of technology at Google. “While this agreement is a real win-win for all of us, the real victors are all the readers. The tremendous wealth of knowledge that lies within the books of the world will now be at their fingertips.
What I do know is that we have to keep our boys connected with reading, research, knowledge, authoritative resources, and more and they need to know the best ways to have this at their fingertips. I have eReader and Stanza on my iPhone. There are many more! What is different about Google Books is the ease of being able to search and pull down material from such a vast collection.
So in a school like mine, where many boys have an iTouch or an iPhone (even without program calling for these tools) the arrival of readily accessible classic literature on their devices is something to take note of.
As TechCrunch explains:
If you ever get a craving for classic literature while on the go, Google’s just given you the ability to check out your favorite literary works via an iPhone or Android phone. Google’s Book Search currently features 1.5 million public domain books, which have all been optimized to fit a mobile screen. Unfortunately, Blackberrys and other non-Android operating system phones are out of luck in accessing this feature.
Google is using an extraction technology called Optical Character Recognition (OCR), that captures and formats the text from the page so that it can be easily viewed on a mobile browser.
Circulate this information to your English staff!