- University of Michigan: Google/U-M project opens the way to universal access to information Google and the University of Michigan today (Tuesday Dec 14, 2004) announced a joint agreement that will add the 7 million volumes in the U-M library to the Google search engine and open the way to universal access to information… Google will digitally scan and make searchable virtually the entire collection of the U-M library. A person looking for information will gain the extraordinary capability to use Google to locate and read the full text of printed works that are out of copyright. For works in copyright, a search will point the way to the existence of relevant volumes by returning a snippet of text, along with information that identifies publishers or libraries where the work can be found.
This is a great way for a traditionally brick & mortar service (libraries) to expand their services into the digital age. Many public libraries are worried about continued readership as most people do a great deal of their research online, turning only to books after their preliminary research is done. Libraries are becoming places people go to read and use the internet, but as universal internet access expands, that too is at risk. By making their resources searchable over the web, libraries are connecting into the power of the internet and also using it to drive traffic back to their doors when people find a book they need.