So, yeah, new thread. Sorry (I'm not sorry).
tl;dr = it's not perfect but you'll never get access
control/revision/fulltext searching functionality even if you spend
About using Google Drive....yeah, we're very small ( 115 students!), so
we're very interested in keeping our over-heads nice and low..
I'm guess I'm old enough to think that 100 GB for $5 a month is a pretty
good deal, so we started saying "Google Drive is our IR" as a joke, but
like it's actually turned into a really nice "IR" type thingy.
We just added a generic "library" user in our domain and bought extra
drive space it. We try to organize things orderly by keeping things in
various folders ( "Dissertations", "Articles", "UN Documents"), since it
makes it easier to recursively apply ACLs. GDrive is like AWS in that
the folders are not really "folders" like we're used to on a file
system, but more like tags..so if you move a file around, it keeps it
UUID (and therefore URL), which is pretty nice.
The best part is that since Google Apps uses OAuth, access control is
really simple both in Google Apps and with external web apps. We can
make a document open to the world, grant access to groups/individuals,
only allow access if they have the URL, etc. This works if they search
in Google Drive or if they're tying to access a document embedded on
The bad news is that there's not much (i.e. none) support in the way of
descriptive metadata, which is kind of huge. To work around this, we
currently either have descriptive metadata records kept in our ILS
(Koha) or in our group Mendeley account. This adds a bit of complexity
to managing the metadata and also means there's not a discovery
interface that allows for both full-text searching (which google
provides) and metadata searching (which Koha mostly provides).
I wrote an app last summer that indexes some of this content into a
discovery interface, which I'm actually in the process of merging back
into our Blacklight OPAC so we'll have a unified DS9DE ("Deep Space 9
Discovery Environment") . So, there's that...
And slightly less bad news, OCR and the document viewer only supports
files < 20MB. We're have a lot of very large PDFs, so it's a bit of a
drag, but the students just have to download the PDF, so it's not so bad.
And the Google Drive desktop client can be buggy and crashes if you try
and sync large collection. And you still have to figure out preservation
But yeah, despite all that BS it's been pretty great. And since Google
gives the CIA unlimited warrantless access, I assume that someone out
there (i.e. DC metro area) is reading our content.
Any questions, please feel free to ask me...