When e-books began to appear in the early 2000’s, there was speculation about the demise of the printed book. While that clearly did not come to pass, e-books have now become a staple of the reference holdings of many libraries. The library and consumer markets have matured, and despite all predictions and speculations, print books and e-books have continued to co-exist quite nicely at the Princeton University Library.
At the December 3, 2008 Lunch ‘n Learn Adriana Popescu, Princeton’s Engineering Librarian and Plasma Physics Librarian, and Priscilla Treadwell, Electronic Publications Marketing Manager at the Princeton University Press, presented both the library and publisher perspectives: Princeton University Library’s selection process for e-books, and the usage patterns at the University that reveal what readers in an academic environment like and don’t like about e-books; and Princeton University Press’s rationale for making certain content available to both the library and consumer markets.
The vast print and online resources of the Princeton University Library can overwhelm even seasoned scholars. Most researchers are so busy with their daily responsibilities that there’s little opportunity for exploration and staying current with new technologies and resources. Fortunately, new tools are significantly improving access to relevant scholarly material and easing the entire process of research.
At the September 17 Lunch ‘n Learn seminar, Steven Adams, the Biological and Life Sciences Librarian and Interim Psychology Librarian, officially launched the LibX PUL toolbar, an amazing browser plug-in that amalgamates several databases and library systems to make the research process more efficient. With LibX, your internet browser becomes an effective portal to the entire library experience.
The Princeton University Library is one of nearly 30 partners in the Google Book Scanning Project, an effort to integrate major library collections. Google expects that the project will connect researchers with key scholarly works and resources and that it will one day provide comprehensive access to all scholarly literatures.
Google Scholar currently supports searches for peer-reviewed papers, abstracts, and journal articles across many disciplines. Searches conducted at Princeton will provide a Find it @ PUL button when the library makes the full text available. Search results that contain a “book” link will provide a link to that book, the full text of which may be available.
In 2004, Google began the book-scanning project with a core group including the New York Public Library and academic libraries at Harvard University, Oxford University, Stanford University, and the University of Michigan. The agreements varied in scope. Michigan, for example, agreed to the digitization of all 7 million volumes in their collection. The project at Stanford involved approximately 2 million books in the first phase but could extend to full digitization during the life of the project. By contrast, the New York Public Library and Oxford are contributing only their non copyright, public domain material, although those holdings will exceed one million volumes. The second round of schools included Princeton, as well as the University of California, the University Complutense of Madrid, the National Library of Catalonia, the University of Wisconsin, Madison, the University of Virginia, and the University of Texas at Austin.
A new partnership between the Princeton University Library and Google soon will make approximately 1 million books in Princeton’s collection available online in a searchable format.
In a move designed to open Princeton’s vast resources to a broad international audience, the library will work with Google over the next six years to digitize books that are in the public domain and no longer under copyright. The partnership is part of the Google Books Library Project, which digitizes books from major libraries and makes it possible for Internet users to search the collections through Google Book Search.
“Generations of Princeton librarians have devoted themselves to building a remarkable collection of books in thousands of subjects and dozens of languages,” University Librarian Karin Trainer said. “Having the portion of that collection not covered by copyright available online will make it easier for Princeton students and faculty to do research, and joining the Google partnership allows us to share our collection with researchers worldwide, a step very much in keeping with the University’s unofficial motto of ‘Princeton in the nation’s service and in the service of all nations.'”
Read the complete News@Princeton article.
At the May 17 Lunch ‘n Learn, four speakers from the University Library provided their perspectives on Google, the popular internet search engine that has become an integral part of everyday vocabulary and life.
Stephen Ferguson, the Assistant University Librarian for Rare Books and Special Collections and the Curator of Rare Books began by reminding us all that in 1994, just a dozen years ago, PC Magazine created a splash by printing the following roadmap to the internet. The map, of course, is today a relic, but it represents an ancient ancestor of the Google engine.