One of the nice advantages of having a Google Mail account is that I have ready entry into almost every new Google offering. Yesterday morning I read about Google Notebook and went to the login page and got right in without any additional registration. (I did then have to upgrade the browser and add a plug-in, but that only took a couple of minutes.)
So, what is Google Notebook? It appears to me to be a tool that lets Internet users copy and paste bits from web pages into personal webpages for later use. All the bits accumulate on a webpage, and the user arranges them in whatever order he or she wishes. The content can be edited and subheadings can be created. Because the notebook is online, a user then has her research available anytime she is near a computer.
Being a reference librarian and book selector, I saw using a Google Notebook to create a way to get quickly to nonfiction book review and readers' advisory content. I started a notebook and then began finding appropriate website from which to cull content. When I saw something I wanted, I highlighted, right clicked, and then clicked "Note This (Google Notebook)" from the menu. The content went straight into my notebook. It was very easy.
The main intent seems to be that people use Google Notebook for private purposes, but people can chose to make a notebook public. Google does advise the user about copyright considerations at the point of making a notebook public, and asks that users credit their sources. The notebooks do include automatic links to the sources used.
With a minimum of effort, I created a sample notebook with text and links for nonfiction readers advisory. It looks pretty basic at this point, but I'm still working.
Google Pages are easy and free, and budget-conscious librarians should consider good ways of using them.