Saturday, July 21, 2007

Open Books!

Rainy day. A cup of Ethiopia Harar and a book.

Today, while drinking a good cup of coffee, I came across the Open Library Project. At first, I thought the book reader used by the Open Library Project was the GreenStone (a tool developed by a digital library project in New Zealand at the University of Waikato with a long list of collaborators). As a matter of fact, it is not.

It is good to see that there are a lot of initiatives out there aiming to provide people with open access to books from a whole variety of topics. Projects like Project Gutenberg and Open Library are good examples that these efforts are up and running.

Seeing digital books as a component in the content generation/consumption ecosystem, it would be interesting to see the convergence of open libraries and urban-driven search tools. A good sample is the Google Books that allow readers to find the closest library that has a particular title available.

Perhaps, the next generation of such systems will also suggest what is the coffee shop that serves your favorite coffee to accompany the book you are searching for. :-)

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