Google recently announced a deal with On Demand Books, the company that makes and sells the Espresso Book Machine. In the deal, Google supplies 2 million digitized books to On Demand Books for use with their Espresso Book Machine.
The Espresso is a Point of Sale machine that prints and binds a book, while the consumer waits. Quality has to come into question when someone pays reportedly $8.00 for a book, that is potentially missing pages, contains operator’s hands and the like. (see example below)
An article written by Norman Oder — Library Journal, 9/17/2009 found at http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6697430.html actually calls out the questions of quality.
One issue regarding the PoD deal for libraries and other end-users is the quality of the scans. Some libraries, such as the University of Pennsylvania (UP) system, have teamed up with Kirtas Technologies for PoD access to public domain holdings. Nothing is scanned until an order is placed.
Penn officials in February said Kirtas’s scanning process results in a higher quality scan, suitable for PoD.
http://www.Kirtasbooks.com currently has more than 800,000 books available from content partners like UPENN, New York Public Library, McGill and McMaster Universities to name a few. Kirtas Technologies offers the complete digitization solution.
As pointed out by the by the University of Pennsylvania, quality digitization is the key to a truly successful program. Google’s rush to scan everything they can get their hands on as fast as the can has produced less than desirable results for a lot of their library partners. Their poorly captured images, and OCR has facilitated their recent purchase of ReCaptcha in an effort to try to make corrections to some of their previous mistakes.