Showing posts with label Google Book Search. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Google Book Search. Show all posts

Monday, October 6, 2014

Use LOC Subject Headings In Google Books Searches

Google Books is one of the under-utilized search tools that I like to share with teachers and students. I offer an overview of how to use it here. Last week I read Daniel Russell's search challenge of the week and learned to use Library of Congress subject headings in my Google Books searches.

In his post Dr. Russell explains that by using LOC subject headings in your Google Books searches you can use fairly generic terms and get results in the context of the subject heading. He gave the example of using the subject heading "World War, 1939-1945" in his search for book content addressing armor in World War II. Once you have your Google Books search results you can use the built-in search refinement tools to identify content published during a range of dates and to find content that is freely available online (not everything returned in a Google Books search is freely available online). Click here for Dr. Russell's full explanation and visuals of the ins and outs of using LOC subject headings in Google Books searches.

If you visit his post, you will see that Dr. Russell also demonstrates the method with BISAC subject headings. I chose to focus on just the LOC headings for this post because I think that more teachers and students will feel comfortable with the Library of Congress than with the Book Industry Study Group

Applications for Education
Using LOC subject headings in Google Books searches is a bit of an advanced strategy, but one that high school students could add to their search strategies toolboxes. The hardest part of this strategy for many students will be locating the LOC subject headings that are appropriate for their searches. They can search for subject headings here.

My example of using an LOC subject heading in a Google Books search.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Google Books for Educators - A How-to Guide

Google Books is a great place to find all kinds of books and magazines that you can preview and or read for free online or on your ereader device. For the last couple of years I've been using Google Books to create lists of free books that my US History students can access for research assignments. I do that by searching for a topic in Google Books, filtering results to show only "free Google eBooks," putting the titles on a Google Bookshelf, then sharing the link to the shelf I created. My students can then visit my bookshelf to see the books that I have recommended to them.

The slides below will walk you through how to use Google Books for the purposes of locating free books that can be read online or downloaded, searching within a book, and creating shelves to share with others. The tutorial assumes that you already have a Google account. If you don't have a Google account I recommend creating one before going through this tutorial.

Expand the slides to full screen to see the details of the screen images.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Book Flavor - Find Books to Suit Your Tastes

Book Flavor is a site that recently launched for the purpose of helping people find books they might enjoy reading. Book Flavor is basically a visual search engine for books. Type into the search box an author's name, a topic, a genre, or a title and Book Flavor will generate a screen full of book recommendations for you. Click on a book's cover to read reviews of the book. If you like you can purchase the book through Book Flavor or head on down to your local library to borrow a copy.
Applications for Education
The next time a student says to you, "there aren't any books I like," try Book Flavor to find something that suits her tastes.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Your Next Read
The Book Seer
Seven Places to Find Free eBooks

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Google Books Adds Shelving Options

Google recently announced two new enhancement to Google Books. You can now browse through many of the Google Books categories using a horizontally scrolling interface. This same horizontally scrolling interface is also applied to the collections of books that you build within your Google Books account. Now you can create your own public and private "bookshelves" in your Google Books account. Users of Shelfari will probably note some similarities in the two interfaces.

Building your virtual bookshelves in Google Books is a simple process that I've outlined below.

Step 1: After logging into your Google Books account click create new shelf.

Step 2: Name your new shelf and select private or public view. Public view shelves can be seen by anyone. You can have a mix of private and public shelves within your library.

Step 3: Locate a book and select "add to bookshelves."

Step 4: Select the shelf you wish to add a book to.

Applications for Education
Creating public bookshelves could be a great way for teachers to organize collections of book titles to share with students and parents. For example if I taught reading I might organize a shelf of books that appeals to young male readers and a shelf that appeals to young female readers. I might also organize shelves by reading levels. Then when students need to search for a book they will have a good place to start their searches.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Seven Places to Find Free eBooks

Every year schools around the world spend thousands of dollars on textbooks that are often outdated by the end of their first year in the classroom. Ebooks, many of them free, can represent huge savings for schools over purchasing textbooks. Here are seven places that you can find free ebooks.

1. Planet eBook is a free service where teachers and students can find classic literature titles available as free downloads. Planet eBook adds new titles at regular intervals. Subscribe to the Planet eBook blog or newsletter to keep track of the latest additions to the collection. For browsing purposes, Planet eBook offers previews of titles through the Issuu pdf publishing service. Using the previews students can get an overview of a title without committing to downloading the entire ebook.

2. E-Books Directory contains nearly 1700 titles. The E-Books Directory provides freely downloadable textbooks, documents, and lecture notes. You can search the directory by keyword or browse through hundreds of categories.

3. Science Books Online is a directory of free ebooks for all areas of science. The books range from small PDF pamphlets to full-length texts made available in electronic form for free. Most of the materials have to be downloaded in order to be viewed but there are some materials that you can view directly within your browser.

4. Free Book-s is a search engine that scans many collections of ebooks to find free content that matches your search. I gave Free Book-s a test drive using academic terms like "physics" and terms like "fly fishing" to see what kids of results would be generated. In both cases I found Free Book-s returned very relevant results.

5. BookServer is a search engine for finding, borrowing, downloading, and purchasing books in digital form. A search on BookServer will yield results listing both free ebooks and ebooks for sale.

6. Flat World Knowledge provides free textbooks created by experts in various academic fields. A quick look at the "find my class" section of Flat World Knowledge reveals that these textbooks are being used in few dozen colleges across the United States.

7. Google Books hosts thousands of books that are in the public domain. Many of the public domain books can be viewed and downloaded in their entirety for free. To find public domain books go into the advanced search options and select the "public domain only" and "full text" options to find free full-length books.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Embedding Books Into Your Blogger Blog or Google Site

After my post earlier this morning about Google Books I received a couple of questions about how to embed public domain book into a blog. Locating the embed code for the books is not as obvious as on a site like YouTube. The embed could is actually located under the "link" link at the top of the book's page. See the screen captures below for more direction.

Make sure you adjust the height and width of the display in your html editor. If you don't make these adjustments the book may not fully display.

The directions above apply to Blogger. If you have a WordPress blog such as those hosted by Edublogs, you may need to find a plug-in to handle iframes. (Don't quote me on that, I'm by no means an authority on WordPress. In fact, if someone knows for sure, please leave a comment).

For those of you using Google Sites. There is a gadget for Google Books that you can select from the "more gadgets" menu.

Thousands of Free Books

In one of the first sessions of my day at the Google Teacher Academy, we looked at some of the lesser known search options. One such option is the Google Books Advanced Search. In Google Books Advanced Search you can search for full-length books that are in the public domain and available for free download and printing. Those same books can also be embedded into your blog or website. To find full-length, public domain books, go to then select public domain in the advanced search options menu. See my screen captures below for more instruction.

Enter your search term then select the public domain button.

Applications for Education
I've recently gave my US History students an assignment in which they have to read and analyze a book about about the Civil War. As I have more students than our school's library has books about the Civil War, the huge listing of books about the Civil War that are in the public domain is very handy for my students.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Google Books Now More Accessible

Google Books announced seven improvements today. Two of these improvements immediately jumped out as useful for educators and students. First, it is now as easy to embed a Google Book as it is to embed a YouTube video. Simply copy and paste the code and the book appears in your blog. I've embedded Moby Dick below.

The second improvement of interest to teachers and students is an improved text search. Now when you search for phrases within a book, the search results will display a larger chunk of context.

Applications for Education
Being able to embed a book into a class blog or website could make reading assignments more accessible to students. If your students are already in the habit of checking your blog for assignments, they will be able to complete their reading assignments in the same place.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Google Book Search Adds Magazines

The second exciting announcement from Google today is the announcement of the addition of magazines to the book search engine. Magazine search results appear along with book search results. Magazine results are designated with the word "magazine" in the search snippet under the linked title.

Applications for Education
Google Magazine Search could be a good resource for teaching recent history and modern culture. Looking back through old magazines students will see the fashions and styles that were popular, popular entertainment stories, and public policy debates.