E-Books are “real books” – really!

January 24th, 2011

Don’t be fooled by the format – e-books are ‘real’ books in every sense that matters, and can make your course assignments easier and better!

Practically everyone who has used the Internet has had some experience with e-books.  You might not own a Kindle or an iPad but likely have read something interesting through GoogleBooks or Project Gutenberg, or in specialized archives like the Baen Free Library.  Some of us seek e-books, buying them for specific mobile devices.  You sometimes hear people say that ‘real’ books are going the way of the dinosaur – but no one makes the claim that reading is dying out.

At IU East, we subscribe to several e-book sources.  The biggest are Ebrary, Books24x7, and NetLibrary.  Some other databases, like the Wiley Online Library and Books@OVID, have even more books for specific disciplines (in this case, science and medicine, respectively).  And we have some more general reference e-books through databases like CredoReference and Gale Virtual Reference.  All together, we have more than 60,000 books in digitized format.  They are an immensely powerful resource for coursework!

Sometimes faculty has specifications on what sources you can or cannot use for an assignment.  It isn’t uncommon to have a paper where you need to use, for example, two books, two journals, and two electronic sources.  Sometimes, there is confusion over what an ‘electronic resource’ is, and students can worry that e-books are among those; equivalent to web sites.  They aren’t.

E-books started life as print books.  Then they were digitized, and IU East bought access to them.  All our e-books are normal books, just streamed to you through the computer.  The change in format doesn’t change the content – it’s still a book with everything but the paper smell.

Our e-books can be accessed through IUCAT, our online catalog, at http://iucat.iu.edu by clicking the url labeled [East] in any record that has [electronic resource] in the title.  The main vendors can also be reached here: http://www.iue.edu/library/books/ebooks.php (in both cases, a log-in will be required if you’re off campus).  E-books are generally more current than our print collection, have the benefit of being accessible from home, and can easily be searched for the specific information you need.  And of course quoting and citing from them is as easy as it is from online journal articles.

IU East library staff is here to help you… any questions about e-books or anything else Library: iueref@iue.edu or 765.973.8311.