A good friend of mine, John Pappas, with the Rapid City Library, sent me the link to the eReader Guide he’s been working on. In it, he goes over six different electronic book readers: iPad, Sony Reader, Kobo Reader, Nook, Kindle and Cruz Reader. It’s a wonderful evaluation of these readers, and I highly recommend checking it out.
Reading through this page, it started me wondering what kind of electronic books we have access to here at KU. So I did a little digging and found a wonderful LibGuide by Judith Emde which highlights the e-book resources available through the KU Libraries. I would like to share some of these tips with you.
Searching the Catalog
If you would like to see all of the electronic books we have available through the catalog, simply type in “electronic books” (including the quotes) and search by keyword. You’ll notice we have quite a few options available to us. I’m going to guess that you might be more interested in just the legal books. To narrow down your search, type in “electronic books” AND law and search by AND, OR, NOT (Keyword Boolean). It should be noted that the Boolean functions should be all caps (a good practice to get into since this requirement is prolific). If you are looking for newer material, you will definitely want to set your search limits to a reasonable range, like maybe 1990 to 2011. Othewise, many of the titles pulled up will be more historical.
The University of Kansas subscribes to a service called the Ebook Library (EBL). The titles it provides are available through the catalog, so you don’t have to worry about having to search more than one database. The main reason I want to point out EBL is that its interface is very intuitive and user-friendly. When you search or browse for books, an image of the cover is provided, as is the table of contents. Any books you find you can add to your personal collection, building your own electronic library!
World Library is a subscription service which loans out electronic books for only $8.95 per year, which, in my opinion, is totally worth it to have access to over 750,000 books. Beyond that, what makes World Library are the individual collections. For example, the Environmental Awareness Library Collection gathers together some 15,722 PDF eBooks on the topic. These titles range from government publications to academic journals.
Of course we cannot forget about Google Books. Google Books is a great way to gain access to electronic books that are in the public domain. Many are available for download to your eReader. This is where I have gotten most of the free material I have on my iPhone.
So who out there uses an e-book reader? I’d be curious to find out!
W. Blake Wilson, Instructional and Research Services Librarian