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February 2014, Volume 6, Issue 1

Continuing Education Alert

Check Your Calendars!!

One Book SD

Take Your Child to the Library Day
Feb. 2

Digital Learning Day
Feb. 6

Read Across America Day
March 2

Teen Tech Week
March 10-16

PLA Virtual Spring Symposium
March 20

School Library Month

National Library Week
April 14-20

World Book Night
April 23

Featured e-Resources of the Month
Welcome, Learning Express Library 3.0

What are we reading?


"eBooked! Integrating Free Online Book Sites into Your Library Collection" by H. Anthony Bandy

Reviewed by Shawn Behrends

book cover of e booked by H anthony bandy, cover used with permission from b n dot comWe are in a time when libraries are expected to do more with less and patrons look to the Internet to answer their information needs. Librarians need to hone their digital skills to assist patrons in finding the information they seek as quickly as possible. "eBooked!" explores several of the larger online books sites and shows library staff how they can harness these free resources for reference queries and as an additional source for downloadable ebooks.

Three of these bigger digital resource sites, Google Books, the Internet Archive, and the Open Library may be of particular use to public libraries. Google Books, with the largest collection of digitized materials, has a broadly mixed collection of books, magazines, government documents, genealogies, and current fiction and nonfiction. For libraries, the Google Online Bookshelf is a feature they may wish to use to supplement their paper collections. The author, H. Anthony Bandy, gives an example of a library that would like to point patrons to additional resources for science fair projects. The library can create a Google Online Bookshelf in its catalog or on its webpage and populate it with subject-appropriate ebooks from the Google Books collection, adding additional resources for library users.

You may be familiar with the Internet Archive through its collection of historical web material on the Wayback Machine. This site, in fact, has a wealth of collections including movie and television videos, old-time radio, podcasts, music, open source software, and ebooks. The Open Library does not actually have ebooks, but provides access to digital titles through its catalog. The Open Library has its own digital book lending program that works similarly to ILL and can work as a supplementary service to your library's patrons. The South Dakota State Library, in fact, is a participating library in the ebook lending program.

Obviously, knowing the tips and tricks of searching these sites is the key to making good use of them to supplement your library's collections. "eBooked!" devotes considerable space to techniques for performing basic and advanced searches on these sites and to the unique quirks of each. Also discussed are how sources can be viewed online or downloaded and which formats are offered to users. Some sites, like Project Gutenberg, even offer mobile sites that make them user-friendly for tablet and smartphone patrons.

Fully integrating these ebook sites into your library collections and catalog may not be practical for most public libraries, however, it is worthwhile be familiar with the scope of resources they can offer and some of the basics of searching and downloading. Consider taking some time to explore free ebooks collections and bookmark them on you library's computers. You never know when they can provide just the thing you were looking for. You can borrow "eBooked!" from the State Library's professional collection.





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