Just for fun: May 2008 Archives
[BTW... You now know the ugly truth: I am not a programmer; see “code stuff” and “pushed/pulled” above]
The upshot of all this, though, is that sites like WorldCat.org can provide a link back to Google Books. Sometimes that will mean the full text of the book, sometimes not. For example, Cory Doctorow’s great novel, “Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom,” is available in full. So the WorldCat.org page for that book shows a link under “Get it” to “View Item Online (Google Books).” This takes you to the Google Books page for that work and the full text.
It’s not just a one-way street, though. If you find a book in Google Book Search, you can often follow a link for it back to local libraries through WorldCat.org. So, suppose you locate the Google Book page for "The Future of Freedom" by Fareed Zakaria. You'll find that the entry for this work is a limited preview. But you'll also find a link under the "Buy this Book" choices to "Find this book in a library," which (you guessed it), takes you back to the WorldCat.org page for it.
Big news this week as Grand Theft Auto IV breaks not just video game sales records but all entertainment industry (film, music, etc.) records for first day ($310 million) and first week ($500 million) sales. If Halo 3 didn’t do it, GTA surely cements the video game industry as a, maybe even the, leading force in entertainment.
So what does this mean in terms of you and your local library? Quite a bit:
The first and most obvious (although maybe not if you think of your library only in terms of books): there’s a good chance many of the games you’re looking for, and shelling out 50 bucks or more for, are sitting on the shelves of your local library. And don’t forget the walkthrough books. Many libraries even loan game consoles.
The Job Market
An industry growing this fast and pulling in this much revenue is hot for new talent. From coding to writing to art and animation, your library is the perfect place to start researching the ins and outs of the business and what it takes to get your foot in the door. Here is some material to get started with, but there are dozens more. Your reference librarians are also a great resource to get the best information in your hands if you’re having trouble locating what you need. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
From health concerns and marketing sex and violence to children to improved hand-eye coordination and visual analysis of information, there’s no shortage of critical material regarding video games. The industry and its products are valid topics for academic consideration at all levels of education, and your library can serve as a research hub.