“This outcome was not anticipated at the outset.” Words to live by, from Google & the Future of Books. “If Google makes available, at a reasonable price, the combined holdings of all the major US libraries, who would not applaud?” Well, I’ll tell you who:
Why you can’t find a library book in your search engine. Mostly because Worldcat is evil, according to the Guardian. Of course they don’t come right out and say it. I can’t help thinking, if you could type in the title and Google told you the nearest library, the Guardian would think that was evil.
UPDATE: As Doc Rampage notes in the comments, The Guardian added at the top of their article a paragraph where they completely climb down, saying they “misrepresented a new record use policy, etc.” It’s to The Guardian’s credit that they admitted their mistake, and did so prominently.
Meanwhile, you can still use interlibrary loan to borrow almost any book in the world for free.* Or you can buy any book in the world on line and have it delivered to your house. Or go to the bookstore, sit in the comfy chair, and read a chapter a day. Or sit in the library and read. Granted, you have to leave at closing time.
*Unless you live outside the city limits. Then, since you aren’t already taxed for the library like the rest of us, you have to pay for a library card to borrow books. Oh, the injustice!