Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ebooks R Here

 Ebooks are here, the E-books are here. We are still in the era of tread carefully as E-books are concerned.  You don't want to tie yourself into an E-book format or service that turns out to be a dud.

On the other hand I did want to try out some E-books from Follett that could be integrated into our P-Book (paper book) system. The idea here is the user could find an Ebook using the library catalog just as they do currently for a P-book.

Follett E-books come in two forms single use and unlimited. Single use is simply the E-book carrying the same terms as most P-Books. We would own the book but patrons could only check out one copy at one time.

This makes sense with P-books, but it feels stupid to me when you are talking about a digital copy. If I am reading a P-Book, like Catching Fire, and we have only one copy, you can't read it. A digital copy is different though,  if I am reading an E-book there is no physical limit on you reading a digital copy of that book. In short we are "just pretending"  the E-book has the same physical constraints as the P-book.

So, when I purchased Follett E-books I made sure they were all unlimited. These books are slightly more but give us more freedom in how they are used. For example, one could have a class in the lab all reading the same E-book with individualized bookmarks, highlights, and notes. You could use the E-books with the netbook cart or the older netbooks teachers have checked out. Follett also has an IPad app in which you can read the books.

The Follett E-books I selected were non-fiction and with the instructional context in mind. In short, books a teacher could use for teaching purposes rather than simply a student checking it out. In particular, I was curious how the E-book could be used with our new technologies such as netbooks, iPads (soon fingers crossed) and projector.

So, how do you access them? The first thing you do is log on to the Library Catalog.  Again its you B # and your last name. You can find E-books like you would any other resource. If you searched wolves  you would see an E-book on wolves as well as P-books.  If you want to see all E-books simply search E-books.