Introduction to eBooks
When today’s tech-savvy students search for books, they aren’t limited to the hard copy tomes lining our Library shelves. If the right print book can’t be found, if the library building can’t be used in person, or if students just want to expand their research across even more mediums, the CSN Library eBook collections fills a distinct need from their virtual shelves.
The eBooks can be found on our website (www.csn.edu/library) under the “Article Databases” tab on our main search box. Clicking eBook Collections takes you into our list of eBook databases of digital texts that range from encyclopedias to classic literature to technology handbooks. You might also come across an eBook when searching the CSN Library catalog under the “Catalog” tab on our home page. The eBook collections cover government and politics, legal information, nursing and allied health, science, medicine, computer programs, digital media, art, history, and even pop culture. It all depends on where you search and what you’re looking for.
Reading eBooks: Online and Off
All of the Library’s eBook collections allow for easy reading while online. To view books in the EBSCO eBook database, you can select the “eBook Full Text” link on the book of your choice and start clicking through pages immediately. Books in Ebrary open on the computer in their own page viewer as well. The Gale Virtual Reference Library provides encyclopedias and reference books to view or download to a PDF document or even listen to in an MP3 audio file. But what if you want to access a book when you’re not connected to the Internet? Not all digital books can be downloaded, but some databases do allow you to borrow eBooks to read on your computer or transfer to mobile devices like the Nook e-reader or iPhone for the duration of your checkout period. There are a few more steps involved in downloading eBooks, but the results are well worth the freedom of being able to read eBooks offline.
All About Adobe Digital Editions
The first extra step for offline reading is downloading Adobe Digital Editions if you don’t already have it installed on your computer. This free software ultimately makes the eBook experience easier, providing a single place to save books from multiple databases as you borrow them. Adobe Digital Editions monitors download time periods for you and causes the eBook to become unreadable after the checkout period is over. But it also allows you to transfer eBooks to mobile devices (except for the Kindle), organize your library of eBooks, search the books, annotate them, and return them early if necessary so you can borrow more.
To start utilizing eBooks offline, download Adobe Digital Editions 1.7.1 or higher from Adobe’s website. It can be installed for Windows 7, Vista, or XP here or for Mac OS X here . Click “Install” and follow the prompts to complete the download. You will then be asked to create an Adobe account as well (Note: if you plan to read the device on a Nook, use the same e-mail address you used to create your Nook account for your Adobe account).
Once your account has been set up, Adobe Digital Editions is ready for use on the computer where you installed it for all your eBook needs!
So now it’s time to view your eBook. After the book has been downloaded, it will open in Adobe Digital Editions to be read on the computer or saved to your e-reader, usually by connecting the device to your computer via USB cable and dragging the cover of the eBook into the e-reader folder that appears. When you’re completely done with the book, you can return it early by clicking on the “Library View” icon in the upper left-hand corner of Adobe Digital Editions and selecting “Return borrowed item” from the book’s menu. Otherwise, the book will expire after the designated checkout period and return itself automatically.
Need further eBook assistance? Our upcoming Tech Talk posts will walk you through the steps to access books from several of our eBook platforms so you’ll be able to successfully utilize whatever resource you need and count yourself among the tech-savvy library users too.
Click the links below for details on using each collection:
-EBSCOhost eBooks: nearly 21,000 books on a variety of topics
-Safari Tech Books Online: technology, software, and digital media books and videos
-Rittenhouse Health Science Electronic Book Collection: for Nursing and Allied Health
-Gale Virtual Reference Library: full-text encyclopedias and reference sources
-ABC-CLIO eBook Collection: subjects include art, music, history, pop culture, and more
-Coming Soon: SpringerLink eBooks: nearly 48,000 books on a variety of topics, particularly science and medicine
For more guided help on Adobe Digital Editions, check out the screenshots offered on http://library.ellibs.com/help/ADE or talk to any CSN reference librarian!