The Library Musings of Jaime Huaman

Librarian Toolkit: Google Drive

In this week’s Librarian Toolkit, we have a tool that is just been made  available and there is a waiting list to use this service.  Despite this, Google Drive seems to have a lot of potential for library use.   Google Drive provides a way to store files from many devices, such as your cell phone or computers, and retrieve them from any location that has an internet connection.  Google Drive’s cloud storage service is similar to dropbox and SkyDrive.  What makes Google Drive particularly attractive is that it allows you to create and collaborate on documents, share files with colleagues, and open files in your browser even if you don’t have the program installed.  They also utilize Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and image recognition on everything that you upload.  So for example if you take a picture of the Washington Monument and store the picture to Google Drive, than Google will identify the photo.

Google utilizes its other Google products such as Google+, Gmail, and Google Docs, by providing special features with in Google Drive.  For example, videos and pictures in Google Drive will be made available in Google+.

Google offers a free account with 5GB of storage after that you will have to fork over $2.49/month for 25 GB, $4.99/month for 100GB, $49.99/month for 1TB.

Google has not yet made this service available to everyone.  You must first sign up and wait to receive an invitation.  I am anxiously awaiting my invitation as I believe this service has many uses for librarians.  One thing you want to consider before using this product in a professional setting is the terms of use of Google which can be found here: http://www.google.co.uk/intl/en/policies/terms/regional.html  I was not able to find an individual privacy policy for Google Drive.  For a compairson of the terms of service between SkyDrive, Google Drive, and Dropbox click here.

For more information and to sign up for Google Drive when it becomes available, click here: https://drive.google.com/start#home

Google Drive Android App (free): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.docs&hl=en

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