E-Books and E-Readers in the Libraries

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E-Books and E-Readers in the Libraries

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Access to E-books – to catalog or not

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    Beth Evans

    Just watched the College of DuPage webcast on free content for libraries.


    John Mark Ockerbloom was one of the speakers. He writes on this site,

    and spoke about this site that he manages:

    which I’m sure most of us know.

    The site includes a suggest-a-free-ebook form

    Alycia and I have been talking a lot lately about how to get around the issue of ebooks (free ebooks) not necessarily being in our OPACS. I thought for a moment that to avoid pushing to have the free books put into our own library OPACs, perhaps we could encourage people to feed book links to the Penn site. Although, even as I thought this I began to rethink it. I did a spot check to see if free online books that are in the Penn site show up with their electronic versions in Worldcat and they do.

    So perhaps the real work is not in getting people to catalog the titles. The real work may be in getting librarians to direct people to use something like WorldCat to discover more resources (including free ebooks). Although I guess many users are going straight to google books which is what Worldcat might link to as well. Hathi Trust also works (in its role as the google books archives (sort of)), but they are less well known.

    As Alycia reminded me, there is a growing interest in IDS (http://www.idsproject.org/) as a skin for our OPAC. IDS makes exploring WorldCat a prominent option.

    So perhaps we may get there without insisting on local OPAC cataloging.

    Another thought has been to get a metasearch going of all the ebook directories we know. The problem there would be cost, since our metasearch provider would charge us for connecting these directories.

    Any other thoughts on improving access to free ebooks? Should we push for these to be in the local catalog?



    Monica Berger

    I can only see a third party service providing MARC records as we use Serials Solutions for Open Access Journals. Too much maintenance to maintain the knowledge base locally. And we’d want our data to play with SFX.

    Beth Evans

    Makes, sense. Thanks, Monica.

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