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Google Books: UC Libraries at Your Fingertips

To date, the UC Libraries have digitized approximately 1.5 million books with Google since our partnership began in 2006. The current contract between UC and Google stipulates that we will allow Google to digitize at least 2.5 million books from our collections by 2012 and there is a possibility that millions more could join the collection.

You can immediately benefit from this digitization project by taking advantage of the links to Google Books available in search results in both ANTPAC and Melvyl. In ANTPAC, look for the “Find More Info” button near the top of the title record display. In traditional Melvyl and Next Generation Melvyl, book cover images in the search results will provide seamless access to the scanned copy of that work.

When allowed by the rightsholder, you can link immediately to the full text of in-copyright/in print books which comprise approximately 10% of the collection. If the book is in-copyright, but out of print (70% of the collection) you can preview up to 20 pages of the work. And of course, public domain books (20% of the collection) are fully available for reading, downloading, or to copy/paste.

Future services depend on the outcome of the settlement of litigation of a class action suit on behalf of all affected copyright rightsholders concerning the charge against Google of infringement due to Google’s scanning of the full text of copyrighted books and the subsequent update of certain aspects of the UC contract.

A proposed settlement has yet to be approved by the presiding judge in the US district court in New York. However, the proposal has several promising aspects that might actually expand access to copyrighted books, especially those that are out of print or for whom it is impossible to locate the current rightsholder. The project will also make it possible for libraries to preserve millions of books and assure numerous other public and academic benefits.

On balance, we believe the agreement is consistent with the libraries’ mission and serves the public interest by providing the widest possible access to these materials. We look forward to expanding easy access to online full-texts through a number of partnerships to maximize benefits for scholarship across the globe.

For more information, contact Carol Ann Hughes, Associate University Librarian for Public Services (hughes@uci.edu or x49753).

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