Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ebooks: Getting started with ebrary

Did you know that the Library has electronic books? Well, it does. And over 50,000 of them are in a new database called ebrary Academic Collection. The books span all academic disciplines taught here at BU. This is the first of several blog posts highlighting ebrary and some ways to use it.

While most readers probably prefer paper to electronic for recreational reading, ebooks offer some nifty advantages for academic researchers. Ebooks allow them to --
  • Search within an ebook for a keyword, name or phrase
  • Use the ebook anytime, from anywhere
  • Be assured the book will never be unavailable because it's been checked out by someone else or not returned or has gone missing on the shelf
  • Take notes and highlight portions of the book using the ebrary 'infotools' (don't try this on a print book!)
You can search the ebrary Academic Collection either using PILOT, the Library catalog, or using the direct database link (also on the Databases pages).

To find an ebrary book in PILOT:
  1. Conduct a search in PILOT – Type the word ebrary into the first search box and a keyword or phrase into the second box (for example, creative teaching)
  2. Sort results by 'Publish date descending' - The latest books will be listed first
  3. Select and view a record – Click on a book title to see more information about it
  4. View the book in ebrary - Click on the Web Link at the top of the record, where it says, "An electronic book accessible through the World Wide Web; click to view"
To find books in the ebrary Academic Collection:
  1. Conduct a search in ebrary – Use the simple or advanced search
  2. Open a document – Click on the title name or jacket
  3. Explore the document – Navigate to search terms, search the document for key words, jump to relevant chapters, flip through pages using the arrows <-- -->
  4. Highlight text and take notes – Create a bookshelf (if needed) to save and organize your research
  5. Use InfoTools – Link out to other online resources to expand your research
  6. Print pages, and copy and paste text – ebrary provides automatic citations with a URL hyperlink back to the source
  7. Manage, archive and share research – Organize your bookshelf and email folders to peers
As always, if you have questions, please ask for help at the Reference Desk. And stay tuned for more tips on using the ebrary Academic Collection!

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