Thursday, 28 May 2009

E-books in Information Services

We are living in an age where time is perceived to be in short supply. We all need information; we would ideally like to receive it at point and time of need. If it is 3am and you are trying to finish a piece of research but need to check a quotation or citation, then you don't want to wait until the library opens in order to do so.

Fear not, Information Services staff care about your needs! And so we provide e-books (copies of texts available electronically) which means:
  • the books can be available online at any time of the day or night, on- or off-campus;
  • there is no need to come to the library;
  • you need not worry that some other midnight-oil-burner has borrowed the book ahead of you.
The downsides of e-books are:
  • it is not as nice to read a whole book on the screen as it is to have the physical object;
  • you can't read e-books in the bath;
  • and it means you miss out on a visit to the library, where the whole knowledge of our species is classified and filed for your convenience.
But despite those serious flaws in e-books, the increasing availability of core texts in an electronic format has enormous potential, and can be an excellent way of aiding in the constant battle to provide enough copies without buying a huge number of print versions that become redundant with the next edition.

This page lists the main collections of e-books that the University subscribes to, as well as some freely-available collections of classic texts. And to make things even easier, there is a new Voyager search specifically for e-books - try it out here.

Please note, if you are a member of the teaching staff and find that we have any of the items on your reading lists available as e-books then please make sure that your students know about them - they will love you for it.

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