Google Book Search and the Future of Libraries
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Google Book Search (GBS) is a service provided by Google that allows for the searching of the full text of millions of books from some of the world’s most renowned library collections. Two distinct view points are found amongst Information Management (IM) professionals regarding GBS: those who support the Google Books’ Search project as an opportunity for libraries and alternately, those who believe GBS will ultimately lead to the demise of libraries and the way individuals retrieve and process information. Information professionals objectively weigh the pros and cons of the GBS Project: being aware of the privacy concerns of the project, the problematic metadata of the search engine and the problematic dependency which it may cause. Contrarily, the pleasing of patrons in libraries, and digitization happening through the project must not be overlooked. Library professionals must determine the best method of bringing GBS into library environments, and this can be done effectively by considering context, concerns and benefits.