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Google's giant library of searchable books is legal

Google's giant library of searchable books is legal
PHOTO COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK

In the history of mankind, if there is one man-made accomplishment that consistently stands above all others, in terms of passing down knowledge from one generation to the next, it's libraries. These vast buildings for millennia have been filled with documents, newspapers and books.

There have been libraries where the world's greatest scholars have passed down their learning to kids, and there are legends of great libraries that were lost to history. Yet, one of the greatest resources of content ever saved may just be a virtual one, where you can search online through millions of volumes.

That virtual library exists right now. If you haven't used Google Books to read eBooks, do research for work or to write school reports, give it a shot. (Use it just like Google, but go to Books.Google.com, instead of Google.com.) It's an incredible resource that will bring up short stories, most of the content of many books and reference volumes.

Google, through an agreement with local libraries, has been digitizing millions of books and documents, including many that are nonfiction and out of print. Search for words on Google Books, and it will show you all its matches; click on one, and you will find much of the book's content. Although, it blacklists about 10% of a book's content.

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