University Libraries’ participation in the Google Books project is about to get underway. Please see responses to the questions below for more information on the project.
What is the purpose of the Google Books Project?
The goal of the project is to make the wealth of knowledge in libraries discoverable to anyone with Internet access. The result will be to a comprehensive, searchable, virtual catalog of books and resources. The Google Books Library Project moves toward that goal by participating libraries loaning Google books from their collections that will be scanned and added to this virtual catalog.
What other university libraries are participating in the project?
Google has been digitizing the collections of several libraries in the CIC, including Michigan, Indiana, Penn State and Minnesota. In addition, a number of universities outside of the CIC are participating, including Columbia, Cornell, Harvard and Stanford.
When will the OSU Libraries begin participating in the project?
The lending process will begin in March 2013.
Why didn’t the OSU Libraries participate in the Google Book Project earlier?
The renovation of the Thompson Library, which concluded in 2009, prevented the OSU Libraries from joining the project at its start.
How will the OSU Libraries’ participation work?
Google has reviewed the OSU Libraries’ catalog and presented us with a list of books they would like to borrow from us to scan. These books will come from our collections, and will only be volumes that are in the public domain (largely those published prior to 1923).
How did Google determine which OSUL books they would like to scan?
The list submitted to OSUL is one that has evolved as material is digitized from other libraries. Many of the books in our collections are already available as digital scans based on books loaned by other libraries. Although millions of books have been scanned from several academic libraries over the past few years there are still more unique items that Google wished to borrow from OSUL.
Will the Libraries be loaning Google all the books that have been requested?
Our staff will decide which of the volumes Google requests will be loaned from our collections. Staff will also be selective in evaluating the condition of individual items; we will not send materials that are determined to be too fragile to be shipped.
How will the Libraries manage requests from Google?
Google will become a borrower. Their requests will be managed in much the same way we presently loan books to our OhioLINK partners.
Is there a cost to the OSU Libraries for participating in the project?
The scanning by Google is at no charge to OSUL. The only cost involved for the university is in the staff time needed to manage the loan requests.
How will the books be handled by Google?
Google will borrow a book, scan it, and return it, undamaged, to us. About the same time we get our book back, the file of the scan will be provided to the HathiTrust.
Where will the books come from?
The Libraries will initially be loaning books from our Book Depository location, the facility we use to house important but lower-use volumes. Some books will eventually be filled from our on-campus library locations as well.
What if a faculty member or student needs access to a book while it is on loan to Google?
As in any other situation in which a book is on loan, the Libraries’ staff will work with customers to obtain a copy of the book from another library.
Are there additional benefits that come from the Google Book Project?
A copy of each book scan is provided to the HathiTrust Digital Library, which is accessible to Ohio State faculty, students and staff. HathiTrust is a digital preservation repository (founded by the CIC) and highly functional platform that provides long-term preservation and access services for public domain and in-copyright content from a variety of sources. Only public domain material is available for use by our faculty, staff and students, but work is also underway to determine what other material in the HathiTrust collection is free of copyright restrictions. HathiTrust is also working on technology which will, in the future, enable us to make the in-copyright material available to our students and faculty with print disabilities. At the present time, more than 10.5 million volumes are included in the HathiTrust Digital Library, representing more than 3.7 billion pages. Approximately 31% of that total is currently in the public domain.
Where can I learn more about the Google Book Project?
Where can I learn more about the HathiTrust Digital Library?
Where can I learn more about the participation of other libraries in the Google Book Project?