Today I'd like to gather peoples' opinions about something.
This coming weekend my consortium is migrating to the Evergreen ILS - so we're down to the wire to decide which features to launch with and which to turn on later, or not at all. One feature libraries are divided over is including a link to Google Books.
Secondly, for some records (although not all), there are additional links to Google on the item details page - sometimes the "Google Preview" icon appears under the book cover, and sometimes the "Preview" tab occurs at the bottom. When patrons click that tab, the book's preview is embedded right in the catalog. I haven't figured out the rhyme or reason behind the Preview tab appearing - not all books have it, even books that are available free online.
I'd really like to know what other people think about including these links in the catalog. For me, I knew instantly how I felt, but have been struggling to put my reasoning into words. Here goes:
- Google Books "Preview" tab on item details page
- should stay
- it is clearly adding value to the catalog and providing a service for patrons, to see into the book online
- should be improved to include all books that have preview or full text online
- "Browse in Google Books Search" link on the search results page
- should be removed
- I don't like how prominent it is - more noticeable than our "Place Hold" link
- from my testing, about 90% of the books with this link do not have any kind of "view online" option - which means this is nothing but a "buy it online somewhere" link
- as far as I can tell, even though we're essentially linking to a bookstore, we're not getting any kind of kickback from driving sales to them (and away from our collection)
- should we be linking to a bookseller at all? If so, why not the local bookstore instead?
- when there is no online preview, all the Google Books page offers is reviews, similar books, and some other information - all of which we already have in the catalog
- doesn't the link imply endorsement and approval of Google Books?
- isn't the Google Books project still tied up in courts to determine how legal it is?
So this is basically where I am - what do you think?