Tag Archive: google


Amazon’s Kindle may be one of the most popular digital book readers out there, but the Sony Reader and applications made for the Ipod and Iphone are close behind. In fact Sony recently struck a deal with Google in hopes of increasing sales as well as popularity. According to an article by the NY Times by the end of the week, Sony hopes to include roughly “a half million copyright-free books available for its Reader device.” By doing this, Sony is attempting to divert attention from the Kindle as well as invite new digital readers to its Reading device as oppose to Kindle or similar devices/applications.

This will certainly be a difficult task for Sony. Amazon currently has 250,000 books that are available for the Kindle (and that number continues to grow). Furthermore, titles that are available for the Kindle are “books people are most interested in reading, like new releases and best sellers.” Whereas Sony’s Reader, with the help of Google, will allow individuals to download free non-copyrighted material. The reason that these titles are non-copyrighted are due mainly to the fact that the books are old- or have been in print long enough to lose the copyright once associated with them. The titles add up to roughly 7 million books that will be available for FREE!

“The books available to Reader owners were written before 1923 and include classics like “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” by Mark Twain, and “The Awakening,” by Kate Chopin, as well as harder-to-find titles like “The Letters of Jane Austen.””

If you happen to like reading classics, then this will be great. However you won’t find any titles by Editorial Campana or Campanita books.  Google is working to increase the copyright-free materials. In the meantime, through the Google Book Search Program, books that are copyrighted will be visible only with either selected pages/text or only the first few pages. 

Once Google and Sony team up, will readers turn their attention to the Reader for classics (and maybe one day new releases/bestsellers)? Or will Kindle’s emphasis to provide new books and hot releases over-power Google and Amazon. Maybe in the end- neither will progress- applications made for computers and mobile devices may turn out to be what’s on the next page!

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Remember a long time a go when you spent the day at the library learning how to find books and getting aquatinted with the card catalog system? There was a time when the one computer in the library was used to find books and to locate useful resources for a book report or for that big science project you had to do. Then came the Internet and it made its way into the library system. First it was a great way to see what other libraries had and a way for librarians to keep tabs on new books and where to send people if they needed a specific book. So for a while the librarian needed to know basic computer skills and how to read the card system. Welcome to the new library age.

Librarians face a new job. On top of their traditional roles, many are required to help students use computers aside from finding books. Powerpoint presentations fill the classrooms as students are well versed in the computer world, therefore librarians spend a lot of their time showing students how to use the information they have gathered as part of their presentations. Other programs that are used on a normal basis include word ( a typing program) as well as the Internet itself.

For new students, the Internet is a house-hold name, but many many do not have access to a computer or have never ventured into the digital world. Here the librarian must be well versed in the language of Google and similar search engines so they can help that 3rd grader find resources outside of the library for their book report. Many books on the shelves have outdated material or not enough material, so going online helps expands on resources. Librarians around the nation and around the world are 

“part of a growing cadre of 21st-century multimedia specialists who help guide students through the digital ocean of information that confronts them on a daily basis. These new librarians believe that literacy includes, but also exceeds, books.”

The Internet is like an ocean- if you don’t know how to search properly, you can drown in the abundance of useful and not-so-useful material. Knowing how to navigate these waters is a critical skill that goes beyond the classroom and is used everyday- including at work. Knowing this, librarians, like teachers make up lesson plans to help students better understand how to use the Internet in a way that will get them the information that thy are looking for and how to pick out information that is false or irrelevant. Far gone are the days of “just re-shelving a book,” as stated by Ms. Rosalia, the school librarian at Public School 225, a combined elementary and middle school in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. The responsibilities of  the new digital librarian parallel that of many school teachers.

Yet with the economy the way that it is and with the tendency of schools to cut back, librarians are one of the first to be cut out of the school system.

“Mesa, the largest school district in Arizona, began phasing out certified librarians from most of its schools last year. In Spokane, Wash., the school district cut back the hours of its librarians in 2007, prompting an outcry among local parents. More than 90 percent of American public schools have libraries, according to federal statistics, but less than two-thirds employ full-time certified librarians.”

Parents, teachers, school administrators are all well aware that librarians are a crucial part to the educational system. However a non-certified librarian in the end cost less. More and more schools are cutting back. That means that a certified librarians are becoming rare at an alarming rate. 

The Internet is part of everyday life. If you step into a classroom, whether elementary or college level, many teachers use the Internet as an aid in the classroom. Not having these skills can impair a students chance of excelling or getting the job they want.

Librarians are faced with a new challenge in this digital age. Is it as important to be certified or knowing how to harness the powers of the computer? Schools are meant to educate. Teachers are certified in order to provide the best quality of that education. A school can not function properly without the right resources. Cutting back on these resources such as knowledgeable librarians can have serious implications to the students. How does a school rightfully decide to cut back on librarians, when now more than ever, they go beyond indexing books and keeping the shelves tidy?

Watch the NY Times video related to the article quoted in this blog!

Google and Amazon have just recently announced that they will be pushing many books to be released into cell phone format. As many of you may know from our last post, the iPhone has many applications that allow you to read books, and there are other devices such as Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s Reader. Yet as many of these devices are still expensive, people don’t want to spend more money at a time when most are watching what they spend. Knowing this, Google and Amazon have decided to make books available on many cell phones. 

Keep in mind that this news comes at a time when Amazon has announced that they will be releasing a newer version of their popular Kindle- the Kindle 2. Maybe Amazon hopes that even though mobile phones will allow you to read books, the new Kindle will offer features that will make consumers want a Kindle to read “Stories of Grown-Up Girls and Little Women,” written by Sonia Rivera-Valdès  Kindle already offers over 200,000 titles and with the release of the new Kindle, many  more are sure to follow. So why then would Amazon decide to make mobile phones have access to this library- exposure and profits. Although the Kindle is costly, it does make reading an electronic book easy. It’s large screen makes the reader feel as though they are reading an actual book than a cell phone would or even the iPhone.

But just as camera phones have not replaced digital cameras, smartphones are not likely to replace dedicated e-book readers like the Kindle or the Reader from Sony, analysts said. These specialized devices have screens about the size of a paperback book and use a technology that does not require backlighting, which makes them easier to read in most light conditions. They also have longer battery life.

The point however is that e-books are taking over. Although the future is still unknown, every day, e-books are proving that they will most likely become the new standard. With the growing popularity of Kindle, Sony’s Reader, applications, and now cell phones that can access books, it is just a matter of time when we will know libraries as digital vaults and monitors will become the new pages that we bookmark and instead, readers will say they can’t wait to find out what happens on the next screen. Books seem as though they will soon be found in museums (if they aren’t replaced by something digital) and maybe holding onto a couple may be a good investment as they might easily become collectors items.

Using Google’s book search, you can search for a book, read details, and in many cases, read several pages of the book. This is a remarkable tool for those looking for hard to find titles and for just about any book lover. Until recently this book search was limited to books that are still published. However, what about books that are no longer published? These books may still be under copyright yet are no longer in print, making it difficult for the public to get their hands on them. Until now.

“Ever since Google began scanning printed books four years ago, scholars and others with specialized interests have been able to tap a trove of information that had been locked away on the dusty shelves of libraries and in antiquarian bookstores.”

This applies to currently in-print books. A settlement that took place in October, may breathe life back into many books that are no longer in-print. The settlement would allow for a greater collection of books to be searchable and read using Google’s book search- including many that are still under copyright. As well, this settlement would allow authors and publishers (as well as google) to make profit from digital versions of books:

“Revenue will be generated through advertising sales on pages where previews of scanned books appear, through subscriptions by libraries and others to a database of all the scanned books in Google’s collection, and through sales to consumers of digital access to copyrighted books. Google will take 37 percent of this revenue, leaving 63 percent for publishers and authors.”

How does all this connect to books that are no longer in print but are still under copyright? This settlement could allow out-of-print books to be born anew in digital format and at the same time allow authors to make money from titles that have been out-of-print for years. Currently, Google has scanned roughly 7 million books into digital format. Books that have been long out of reach (but not forgotten) may soon be available simply by doing a Google book search. Losing the traditional book format, these books will be available online for readers. This method may even help increase revenue due to the fact that the publishing cost will be eliminated. 

This all sounds great. Readers will be able to get their hands (or eyes) on out-of-print books: ” Google users will have an unprecedented ability to search (for free) and access (for a fee) books that formerly lived only in university libraries.” Authors and publishers will make a profit, and Google will continue to provide a wonderful service. Even the settlement itself seemed to allow a peaceful disagreement: 

“When the agreement was announced in October, all sides hailed it as a landmark settlement that permitted Google to proceed with its scanning project while protecting the rights and financial interests of authors and publishers. Both sides agreed to disagree on whether the book scanning itself violated authors’ and publishers’ copyrights.”

Some, librarians in particular, did express fears that as this service grows, Goggle may end up increasing subscription fees. Although there are other services available, none provide the assortment of books allowed by Google. Ever since Microsoft closed it’s doors on a similar book program, Google currently monopolizes the digital book search world.

Revenues generated from Google book search, may be small but are still noticeable.

“So far, publishers that have permitted Google to offer searchable digital versions of their new in-print books have seen a small payoff. Macmillan, the company that owns publishing houses including Farrar, Straus & Giroux and St. Martin’s Press and represents authors including Jonathan Franzen and Janet Evanovich, offers 11,000 titles for search on Google. In 2007, Macmillan estimated that Google helped sell about 16,400 copies.”

It might take a while before an author with an out-of-print book notices any sort of profit. Yet there is still another service that this settlement will allow. Maybe it’s not so much the monetary aspect that will make this service so remarkable, but the cultural impact it will have. As this new service continues and expands, hopefully many titles, especially out-of-print Spanish titles will become accessible to those seeking to open a book that no longer exists.

According to a article in the online version of the New York Times, Microsoft will be ending it’s efforts to provide a book-based search engine. Unable to compete with Google, Microsoft stated on Friday that they will be “ending a project to scan millions of books and scholarly articles and make them available on the Web.” The project so far, according the article, has digitized over 700,000 books and indexed roughly 80 million journal articles.  

The decision to end this project was based on the following:

“Given the evolution of the Web and our strategy, we believe the next generation of search is about the development of an underlying, sustainable business model for the search engine, consumer and content partner,” Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s senior vice president for search, portal and advertising, wrote on the blog.”

This statement may throw people off since Google continues to maintain and improve its book search engine. In fact, Adam smith (product management director at Google) stated that, “[we] are extremely committed to Google Book Search, Google Scholar and other initiatives to bring more content online.” As you may know from reading a previous entry , all of Editorial Campan’s titles are searchable and to some extent viewable though the book search program. So it looks as though users who once used Microsoft’s program will click to Google in order to continue their book searches. Is this a smart move on behalf of Microsoft? According to one individual, although this program was used on a small scale, it was still used, especially by libriarians.

“Mr. Sullivan said that the number of people using book search services from Microsoft and Google was relatively small, but it included librarians, researchers and other so-called early adopters who often influence others. These users are now likely to turn to Google with increasing frequency, he said.”

 Microsoft will slowly faze out their book search engine. Eventually funding for this project will have to come from else where. Is this proof that Google will forever be known as the ultimate search engine and how will this affect how people search for books?

Did you know that google allows you to view a preview of the book? http://books.google.com/ sends you to a page (that uses googles famous search ability) where you can search for just about any book you can think of. If the book is part of the preview program, you can digitally preview the book. Previews come in the following forms: Full View (if the book is out of copyright), Limited Preview as in the case of Editorial Campana’s books, or Snippet View. The preview is limited to about 20-25 % percent of the book and google informs the viewer that all the content viewed is copyrighted. An article on Cnet noted that:

Click on the preview below to see how this program works.


So what does this mean for publishers and authors? A reader can now read parts from a book to decide whether they are interested in buying the whole book. This means that a book can get more exposure, which is often the hardest part about the publishing industry. At the same time, reading some of the book allows readers to make a better decision as to whether to buy the book or not. On the flip side however, by giving that much of the book away, many may decide that they have read enough of the book and there is no need to read the rest of the book or the pages that have been omitted from the preview.

 

In the end, does it just come down to the publisher’s/author’s choice? Click Here to read what other people have said about this digital preview program.