10 March 2015

eBooks: All the goodness of a print book in a convenient electronic package!

eBooks! They seem like such a great idea. You can read them on your computer screen and download them to read on the go. But when it comes to eBooks and libraries, there are some extra things to remember… by Romany Manuell

You may already be familiar with eBooks. Perhaps you’ve purchased the latest bestseller on your Kindle. Maybe you’ve downloaded a textbook from iBooks on to your iPhone. In the Library, you will find yourself bumping into some other brands that have set up special rules to allow students to borrow their eBooks. Over time, you’ll find yourself reading books from EBL, ebrary, EBSCO and other companies. But let’s deal with the basics first.   

Finding eBooks in Search
When you’re looking for information in Search, it might not be immediately obvious that you’ve found an eBook. You will need to look for clues. In the image to the right, you’ll see that the first version of The objects of thought is available to view in full text. Therefore, it must be an eBook! Just click on that “View it” button, and follow the links.

Reading eBooks: Eat in or takeaway?
You can read an eBook on your computer screen, just as you would read a journal article. But what if you want to borrow the book, and read the whole thing on your tablet or phone? What if you want to download a book to read when you are not connected to the internet? Well, there are specific rules for different eBook providers. Not all eBooks are available to download and read offline. That’s why you’ll find comprehensive instructions on the eBooks Library Guide.

However, it is pretty easy to download eBooks from the major providers: EBL, ebrary and EBSCO. You’ll need to grab the app called Bluefire Reader (available for iOS and Android). You’ll also need to create a free Adobe ID in order to login to the app. On your tablet or phone, find the Library and search for the book you want. If an option to download is available, your eBook should automatically open in your Bluefire Reader. Ta da!

But of course, sometimes it’s just not that simple. If you run into any trouble, please don’t forget to ask a librarian, or Ask Monash. We are always here to help you find better ways to use all the amazing online resources we have in the Library. 

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