Ramblings, citations and "brainwaves" of a college librarian in Toronto. 475 square feet refers to the size of my home, not the size of my office or library.

Google to Sell Online Access to Books

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Google has announced plans to sell online access to books. Consumers will be able to pay for access to books and view them through a browser-based interface, with no ability to save copies of pages to their local hard drives. Publishers have to opt-in and will be able to set their own prices. This initiative is a competitive response to a similar program that Amazon launched in November 2005.

Direct-to-consumer sales threaten libraries. Patrons expect online access to content and if they can't get it from their library, many are willing to pay if the price is right. If enough consumers jump on these initiatives, publishers may stop licensing their titles to services like NetLibrary. That would be bad news for libraries.

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