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Re: Authors, publishers, settle suit with Google

Libraries do keep circulation records. But I'm not sure how 
useful these data might be for discerning the impact of Google 
Book Search on the circulation of out-of-print books. For 
example, I don't think library metadata indicate whether a given 
book is in-print or out-of-print, I don't think library 
circulation data can tell whether someone checked out a specific 
book from a specific library because they found out about it via 
GBS, etc., etc.

Of course one could check circulation data by publication date to 
see if "older" books are circulating more frequently than in the 
past, but there would be no "smoking gun" that directly links GBS 
to any significant increase.

Having said that, I am kind of curious about Georgia Harper's 
claims about Google's data. Georgia said: "Google has stats that 
are astounding reflecting the difference in access and use rates 
for non-commercially valuable...books that on our library shelves 
might have sat without being checked out for years, even 
decades..." I'd like to hear more about these Google stats and 
how they demonstrate this astounding difference.

Bernie Sloan
Sora Associates
Bloomington, IN

--- On Mon, 11/10/08, Joseph J. Esposito <espositoj@gmail.com> wrote:

From: Joseph J. Esposito <espositoj@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: Authors, publishers, settle suit with Google
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Date: Monday, November 10, 2008, 5:48 PM

This is interesting and catches me by surprise.  I was under the 
impression that libraries kept circulation records, that the 
catalogue of collections and the circulation records were in 
digital form, and that librarians analyzed these records.  My 
understanding is that the primary aspect that Google has added to 
this picture was the ability to search on full text instead of 
only on the metadata for titles.  It may very well be that 
full-text searches of out-of-print titles will lead to greater 
circulation (I think it will), but the jury is still out on that 
as far as I know.  I was not aware that librarians did not know 
anything about how patrons are actually using their collections 
until Google came along.

Joe Esposito