Book chapter

Google API

One of most exciting aspects of the Google Books digitization project is the en masse scanning and dissemination of public domain works. Though exact figures are elusive, Google Books currently contains approximately 30 million books with at least one million in the public domain. In comparison, the HathiTrust, a massive digital library based partly on Google Books' digitized corpus, contains 3.7 million public domain volumes. The Internet Archive contains nearly a million works in its collections, all of which are in the public domain. This scale of access to open cultural artifacts is unprecedented. It follows that emphasizing these openly accessible public domain books should be important to all libraries. It would be of great use for a library, then, to supply links to these public domain books in records found in their online catalogs to patrons who might not know that they exist. Indeed, the greater the accessibility to public domain books, the better patrons' information needs can be met. Most library users in the digital era are now accustomed to being able to access works immediately and without barriers. Such demands have become commonplace and provide greater satisfaction to users. As a result, providing a virtual copy to browse may instigate greater trust in the user. It might then result in greater frequency of accessing library resources in the future.