Test Drive #5: More Google

Google has a large range of products and services for individuals and businesses to use. This week we discover a selection of these.

Google Translate:

Have you ever needed to translate words, phrases or a block of text into a different language? Google’s Translate application allows you to do this effortlessly.

You can now translate the contents of an entire website, which can benefit libraries’ multicultural clientele. Google Translate will convert the webpage into your selected language. Note however that it cannot change any words that are part of an image file.


  • Use the “Text and Web” tab to search for a phrase in your own language and find its translation in another language.
  • Select a website you would like to translate. Paste the URL into the text box and select another language.
  • Describe in your blog how Google Translate might be used as a tool to help library clients

Google Books

Search or browse the Google Books collections. Where a book is out of copyright, or the book publisher has given Google Books permission, you can preview the book and often access entire contents of the book. Where the book is in the public domain, you can also download a copy of the book.

For example, searching with the keywords history and “English literature” and restricting the search to full view only the Google Books search results in 904 full view books (see one example below).


Try a search on Google Books. Use the Advanced Search feature. Type in your keywords or phrases and select “full view only” from the search options.


iGoogle is your personalised Google home page. You can add news, weather, clocks, games and any other gadgets that interest you. This personalised home page allows you to have items that interest you on your home page. If you are interested in the latest news, weather or sports find a gadget for that topic and drag and drop it into your home page.

You will find the iGoogle tab on the right hand side of the Google home page.


Watch this youtube video about how to create an iGoogle home page.

Adventure (optional):

Create your own iGoogle page.

Google Calendar

Google's free online calendar allows you to keep track of important dates, meetings, and commitments and set up email or sms reminders for these. You can access your Google Calendar from anywhere in the world and share your calendar with friends and family.


Record in your blog how libraries and library-related groups might use Google Calendar.

Adventure (optional):

Create your own Google Calendar, adding personalised entries.

Google Maps

Google Maps allows you to search for places, businesses and directions. There are several features that enhance this service compared to other direction seeking sites. These include the ability to create your own personalised maps, add your business to the map, and create and add reviews to locations.

One feature of Google Maps is My Maps. You will find this option adjacent to the get directions link on the Google Maps home page.

You will need a Google Account or a GMail account to be able to create maps. You can personalise maps by adding markers, comments, photos, videos and you can share the maps with friends or make the map public for anyone to find and use.


Watch this youtube video about how to create your own personalised map on Google Maps.

Uses for Personalised Maps:

  • Showing the date and location of book club meetings
  • Highlighting places of interest in your local area
  • Planning a day, weekend or overseas trip

Adventure (optional):

Create your own personalised map. Write in your blog about what you ‘mapped’. Put the link to the map in your blog if you made the map public or published it on your website.

Next Test Drive – Vodcasting


  1. And what about Bingle? Compares searches on both Bing (Microsoft) and Google. I think Google still wins most of the time.

  2. I Found the Translating site interesting and would be useful if you want to find out what someone has said in research or perhaps a blog in another language.
    Google books quickly located a rare book “The Worm Ouroborus” by E.R.Eddison, that I’d read over thirty years ago and produced a complete online version that could be read. I’m impressed!
    Google maps would be great if you have some awesome place you have visited on a holiday that you’d like to share with friends or just tell others about. Also, great for keeping track of good surf-spots you find whilst raveling around Australia.
    Definitely some really useful sites that I’m sure I’ll use in the future and all would be useful for library clientele.