Saturday, April 26, 2008

Google Book Search

I had an interesting experience this week. I was trying to catalog a book published by one of our retired teachers. It was published by a small local publisher (do we still call them vanity presses?), and it was lacking information that we usually include in the catalog record. It didn't include the publication or copyright date or the place of publication. I know, we can deal with that in the record, but I decided to do some research, as it did have the publisher's name, an ISBN, and a URL for the publisher.

I'll try to get the point here. The publisher's website had no mailing address, so I Googled them and got the address, and I found one date in the author's dedication. Finally, I decided to look it up in Google Books. Well, that was interesting because it turns out that Google Books had "mashed up" our teacher's book with another book published by the same publisher many years ago. The ISBN for our teacher's book was there along with the one for the other book. On the Google Book page, you can send in questions or suggestions for entries. I did this and they answered that they will check into it and thanked me for the information.

Social cataloging! What fun.

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