Sunday, October 30, 2005

Scanned Books

Much in the news and arousing much controversy of late are plans by Google, Yahoo and Microsoft to scan millions of books and make them searchable and in many cases viewable online. To get an idea of what this might look like, take a look at the Open Library. The books in the Open Library can be viewed online, downloaded or listened to, all for free. This is how thay're doing it.

I often hear folk say they could never read a book online. That may be true for many of us, but I predict that our children will be comfortable with doing just that. I'm currently reading Jane Eyre out loud to Susan. If you look at the web pages you'll notice that the print is quite small. It's way too small for me to read comfortably.

No problem!. I hit Ctrl+ a couple of time's and I have myself large print. I don't much like the font. View/Style/No Style (in Firefox, the standard browser at the 'Bary) and I've got a font that's much easier on my eyes. An additional benefit: no mildew.

I'm not advocating that we get rid of all our books. Anyone who's seen the insides of our garage will trust me on this. I like a beautiful book as much as the next person. But the world is changing. It's important for the library to be part of those changes.


Blogger CHARLOTTE R. MORRILL said...

Charles and I have a nephew who spent a year in Tokyo. He said that he got used to reading E Books because he could load them into his Palm and that was the only thing he could read while standing - squeezed - into the high speed commuter train system.

2:47 PM  

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