At one point, they discuss the impressions of a recent recruit from Amazon to the department:
When he arrived and began to look inside the company’s black boxes, he says, he was surprised that Google’s methods were so far ahead of those of academic researchers and corporate rivals.
“I spent the first three months saying, ‘I have an idea,’ ” he recalls. “And they’d say, ‘We’ve thought of that and it’s already in there,’ or ‘It doesn’t work.’ ”
I think the best thing that we can do in academic libraries is try to co-opt this technology for our more focused purposes. I hope Google can keep their systems open enough for us to do this.
One small way we're thinking about doing this is including Google Book Search results on our OPAC search results page using their AJAX search API. Here's hoping that they soon add Scholar support for the search API.