About two weeks ago, I was doing some work on a research project. I’ve got some articles and books on the subject, but I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t missing anything. So I went to the Olson Library catalog and called up one of the books I already had in my bibliography. I clicked on the Library of Congress Subject Heading “Libraries in literature,” and found a book I hadn’t heard of before.
Because this book is an ebook, I didn’t have to write down a call number or go somewhere to find it on a shelf. I merely clicked the ebook link:
I was then taken to the authentication system, Shibboleth:
After typing in my NMU user name and password, I was taken to the ebook after a short pause:
Here, I was given a number of choices. I could read the book online by clicking that button:
Or I could click a tab to examine the table of contents, to make sure that this book would be useful to me:
From the table of contents, I can click on a particular part of the book, and, after a short pause
You will come to the part that you wanted to see:
Note that there are blue tabs on the left side, and the table of contents remains visible to you. If you want to take notes on your reading, you can click the “Notes” tab:
and then click on “Create new note”:
You’ll have the opportunity to give your note a title, which might be a keyword to describe the author. The page number has been automatically entered for you:
Then all you need to do is type your note:
When your note is finished, you don’t need to do anything. To take another note, simply click “Create new note” again. When you’re done taking notes for the moment, you can export them:
Even after the notes are exported, they’ll stay with the book for the entire period of your loan. If you check it out again, your notes will still be there, because you were authenticated when you first accessed the book and the program recognizes you. If someone else checks out the book, that person won’t be able to see your notes. But you can delete them if you want to.
I’m quite excited about this new addition to the Olson Library’s collections. I’ve tested the interface over both wireless and WiMax, and the books load beautifully. They also read nicely from my laptop. Unfortunately, EBL doesn’t support a download to a Kindle (my ebook reader), but if you have a Nook, you’ll be able to use it with these books. You can also use the Bluefire Reader app to read them on your iPad or iPhone. Enjoy!