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Google Librarian Newsletter

Jul 11, 2008, 12:39:38 PM7/11/08
To access the newsletter online, please visit:

*In This Issue:*
Letter from the Editor <>

Google Book Search <>
Google Sky <>
Google Health <>

*Best of the Inside Google Book Search Blog*
Your Library, My Library <>
Go, go, Book Search gadgets <>
Around the world in 80 pages (give or take a few) <>
University of Virginia opens exhibit on Google Book Search <>
Book Search Back to School Edition <>

Doodle 4 Google <>
Scalpel, check. Book search, check. <>

*Letter from the editor:*

After a year's hiatus, the Google Librarian Newsletter has returned!
We mentioned last summer we were taking a break to think about the best ways to communicate with you and keep you updated on what's happening with Google. We began our librarian outreach with the intention of sharing information with the librarian community about Google. This information includes our library partnerships, products that could be useful to librarians and more details about the way Google Book Search works. We're still committed to these goals. To that end, we have decided to close the Librarian Central blog and instead provide interesting news, product features, and other Google-related announcements through the Google Librarian Newsletter every few months. If you're not already receiving the newsletter by email, you can subscribe to it at any time on the Google Librarian Central Newsletter site <>.

A lot's happened since our last newsletter went out. In our "Features" section, we have several updates from Frances Haugen, Product Manager, about how Google Book Search is increasing the accessibility and discoverability of books. With the release of our Dynamic Links API, non-Google websites such as library catalogs can add links to view any book which can be previewed on Google Book Search. We also have the inside scoop about the highly anticipated Google Health product <> from marketing manager Missy Krasner. Google Health puts you in charge of your health information, allowing you to collect, store, and manage your medical records online. Finally, Effie Seiberg from the Google Maps Team gives a quick overview of stargazing with Google Sky.

Although we have not posted to the Google Librarian Central blog recently, we do have some interesting posts to share from the Inside Google Book Search blog <>. Check out the "Best of the Blog" <> to see some of the highlights over the past 6 months, including how to create your online library <> and the University of Virginia's Book Search exhibit <>.

Last but not least, in the "Announcements" <> section we have some highlights from the Doodle 4 Google contest <> and a video testimonial from a New York City Doctor <>.

As always, feel free to drop us a line <>  if you have comments, questions or feedback to share.

*Google Book Search*

A Look Under the Hood
Frances Haugen, Product Manager

When people think of Google Book Search, they often think of the amazing potential of accessing over a million books online. We prefer to think of our mission a little more broadly. While having the scans of books online is critical to access, helping users to connect with the right pieces of information to answer their questions is just as vital. In the last few months, we've completed several projects that exemplify this commitment to expanding access to information.

To help connect users with the right books when they need them, we've better integrated books into search results. You may notice from time to time that when you search for something on, you find a result from a book <> tucked in among your web results. This is part of our universal search effort <> , to connect users to information from multiple content sources in a single set of search results. Initially, these "blended book results" were launched on English-speaking domains, but in the last few months, we've released them internationally <,GZAZ%3A2007-33,GZAZ%3Aen&q=doble+raigambre&btnG=Buscar&meta=>  as well. As a result, we're seeing a lot more users discovering information in books.

Because it doesn't matter how users find books if they don't have a good experience once they reach <> , we've also started collecting feedback on bad pages <> . If you find a bad page in a book we've scanned, you can click on "flag this page as unreadable" to help alert us to how we can improve it.

We recently took a first step toward increasing access to our collection of books by releasing an API to help developers link in to individual books based on ISBN, LCCN, and OCLC numbers. While the Dynamic Links API <> is intended for use by anyone interested in linking in to Book Search, there are a number of applications that are particularly useful for libraries and library catalogs.

Library catalogs allow library patrons to identify whether or not a given library has a book they are interested in and where the book is located. By linking in to Book Search, users can check to see whether a book they want to browse actually contains content relevant to their question or investigation. This can save substantial time especially when researching obscure topics. We've received many stories from librarians about how their users find books on Book Search but do their actual research using physical copies of books from their local library.

Some of the libraries who have implemented the API include:

* Ann Arbor District Library (Michigan) <>
* Deschutes Public Library (Oregon) <>
* Northwestern University <>
* University of California
* University of Huddersfield (Huddersfield, UK) <>
* University of Texas at Austin <>
* Waterford Institute of Technology (Waterford, Ireland) <>

We're not just committed to expanding access to books on Google properties. One of the most important recent announcements was the release of an XML download of US Copyright Renewal Records <> - files that can be used to help determine whether or not a book is in the public domain. This is the first of many efforts from Google to help expand access to Orphan Works, a project to which we are deeply committed.

*Google Sky*

The Sky is No Longer the Limit
Posted by Effie Seiberg, Product Marketing and Astronomy Enthusiast

When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut. I would run around with half of a plastic milk jug on my head as a helmet and pretend to explore new worlds. Well, today I work in product marketing - quite a far cry from my childhood dreams - but I can still explore new worlds. In an effort to not just organize our world's information, but to go beyond, we have new products and features to blast you off into space.

If you downloaded <> Google Earth after August 22nd of last year, you have Sky <> . Just click the Sky button at the top of the screen, and your view is flipped from looking down at the Earth to looking up from it. Just as you can navigate over the Earth, you can now search for and fly to over 100 million individual stars and 200 million galaxies, all from real imagery from sources like the Hubble Space Telescope. The layers panel on the left hand side helps you browse, whether it's looking at constellations or the education center. Teaching is easy with Sky. You'll find layers containing information about galaxies, the life of a star, and even podcasts from the Earth & Sky <> . You can also find KML files for Sky in the KML Gallery, including this animation of an exploding star <>. Of course, just like in the rest of Google Earth, you can create your own KML files as well.

Of course, not all exploration needs to happen in a downloadable client. In March we released the web-based version of Google Sky <>. It's just like Sky in Google Earth, but this one is in Google Maps. It joins Google Moon <> and Google Mars <> in our set of space apps you can access directly through your browser. Check out the Chandra X-Ray Showcase menu found at the bottom of Google Sky to browse through new views of your favorite nebulae <> , or search for astronauts' footprints within the panoramas of Google Moon <>. Perhaps these images of our universe can inspire the next generation of astronauts.

Google Health

Finding a Needle in a Haystack - Organizing Medical Records with Google Health

Missy Krasner, Product Marketing Manager

Health has long been an area of strong interest at Google. Every day millions of people use Google to learn more about an illness, drug or a treatment, or simply to research a condition or diagnosis. With so many consumers going online today to research health issues, we are seeing an upwards trend in healthcare consumerism. People want to better understand their diseases-- the symptoms, the treatments, the drugs, and the side effects, in an effort to getter higher quality, more efficient care.

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally useful and accessible, and there are few areas in which this goal is more important then health and healthcare. As librarians, I can only imagine the challenge of organizing information all day long and how hard it must be if information is held on many different systems that don't talk to each other. This is the world of healthcare today.

    * Patients lack a simple, easy-to-use mechanism for collecting, storing and sharing their medical records with those they trust.
    * Health information is fragmented and spread out amongst many doctor offices, retail pharmacies, health insurance plans and hospitals.
    * New doctors are unable to get a complete medical history at the point of care.
    * Patients continually repeat the clip board of medical history paperwork every time they see a new physician.
    * Patients end up in the emergency room without a medical history - so the treating physician has no clue as to what medications or conditions the patient has.

Accessible medical information benefits everyone in the medical community - doctors become more well informed and are able to make better decisions and patients can better coordinate and manage their health records in a single location. We believe that you should have full control over all your health information and be able to manage it in an easy-to-understand environment. That is why we started thinking about Google Health.

We launched Google Health May 19th - now you, the user, can be in charge of your health information by allowing you to safely store, manage and share your health information.

With Google Health, users will be able to:

    * Build online health profiles
    * Download medical records from doctors and pharmacies
    * Learn about health issues and find helpful resources
    * Connect to online tools and services that are integrated with Google Health to better manage their care
    * Search for doctors and hospitals online

As with many Google products, there is no cost to use the service. And there will be no ads in Google Health. Due to the sensitive and personal nature of the data that will be stored in Google Health, we plan to conduct our health service with the same privacy, security, and integrity users have come to expect in all our services. Google Health will protect the privacy of your health information by giving users complete control over their data. We won't sell data or share it without the user's explicit permission.

Check it out for yourself at <>

*Best of the Inside Google Book Search Blog*

"Your Library, My Library"
At the end of February, Software Engineer Chiu-Ki Chan detailed some of the updates to the Book Search My Library feature <> , including the ability to see other people's libraries. Did you know that if you add a review to a book in your Google "My library," your review may be featured in the Reviews section of the "About this Book" page for that book? You can also see other users' book reviews and what they've added to their library, and add them to your favorites. Read the full post <>

"Go, Go, Book Search gadgets"
Last December, Product Manager Frances Haugen introduced new iGoogle gadgets featuring a Book of the Day, Book Search, Patent Search, and Scholar. iGoogle is a personalized homepage where you look at a variety of content across the web, including news headlines, weather, and Gmail messages. Read the full post <>

"Around the world in 80 pages (give or take a few)"
In November, Yana Ivey from the Book Search Support Team gave some examples of how Book Search can help you with your travel planning. On her trips to Germany and Russia, she found travel guides and books related to the local culture. Read the full post <>

"University of Virginia opens exhibit on Google Book Search"
Esther Onega, On-site Google Book Project Manager at University of Virginia, shared how UVA went about educating their community about Google Book Search through an exhibit in the library. Read the full post <>

"Book Search Back to School Edition"
Just in time for school, last fall Agnes Eymery from the Book Search Support Team gave an overview of how Book Search can help students (and parents!) prepare for school. From research papers to law school preparation, Google Book Search can help with academic success. Read the full post <>


Doodle 4 Google
In March, Google announced Doodle 4 Google <> - a nationwide, K-12 competition to create a Google Doodle featuring the theme "What if...". A panel of judges selected 40 finalist doodles who came to the Googleplex for a celebration ceremony. The last stage of voting was opened to the public. Grace Moon, the 6th grader from Canyon Middle School, is our Doodle 4 Google winner, and received a $10,000 college scholarship and $25,000 for her school's technology lab.

Scalpel, check. Google Book Search, check.
We came across a blog post by Dr. Joshua Schwimmer explaining the benefits of Google Book Search in the medical field. We invited him to share his story with us here. Check out more video and written user stories on our new user stories page.

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