"'If Google can enable us to go faster and farther, then why not?' he reportedly said."
Why not? Maybe because of something called copyright. YOU, the librarian, do not get the right to say what can and cannot be done with the AUTHORs' works. And yet, that is exactly what is happening. Google is copying books in their entirety without the authors' permission. How is that NOT copyright infringement? For those claiming "but they won't show the whole book, and they're doing this to get people to buy the book!", ask yourself why Google is doing this. There is only one answer -- money. It's a safe bet that they'll get a commission on any book sold, thus financially profiting from their copyright infringement. But hey, it's Google, so it must be okay.
As an individual, I am not allowed to walk into the library and make a photocopy of an entire book. So why is acceptable for Google to do so?
I have no problem with Google scanning books for which the copyright holders have given them permission to do so. I do, however, have a problem with Google copyright someone else's work without permission. Sadly, it appears I'm one of the dwindling few who actually believe in copyright anymore*.
* For those freetards of you, you ARE aware that copyright is the only thing protecting your precious Linux kernel (and other GPL-ed projects), right? Without copyright, any company could use any GPL-ed work without sharing it (or even acknowledging it).