kinds of e-books are available at UMaine?
Why is the library buying e-books?
What’s different about e-books in an academic library context?
Can I download library e-books to a computer or e-reader device?
Can the library buy any e-book that is available on Amazon, Google Ebooks, or other commercial sites?
Are there any problematic issues in libraries providing e-books?
How do the online editions compare to the print editions of books?
How are decisions made about e-books for the library?
Where do I go for more information about e-books in the library?
What kinds of e-books are available now at UMaine?
Fogler Library currently provides access to more than 180,000 e-books. Search URSUS for specific titles, authors, and subjects, or browse some of the large groups of e-books from our Indexes and Databases web page http://www.library.umaine.edu/indexesdb/Indexes.asp:
Maine InfoNet Download Library - popular fiction and non-fiction e-books and audiobooks
E-books are available 24/7, regardless of library building hours. E-books also help support distance learners, a growing segment of our student population, as well as others who prefer to access books online. Purchasing e-books can help with shelf space issues in the building. Finally, some titles are ONLY being published as e-books!
Library license agreements for e-books include varying levels of digital rights management, also called DRM, which can limit such things as how many users can view an e-book at the same time, whether it can be downloaded or shared, how many pages can be printed, etc.
Some e-books for libraries are only available for subscription, not purchase
E-books are often more expensive for libraries than print books
It depends. See a
showing access types for major e-book collections at UMaine.
Most e-books that are made available to library users in standard PDF, HTML, or text file formats may be downloaded to or viewed with any device or computer that can open those formats. This is generally true of e-books that are purchased directly from the publisher and are available on their web site, such as Springer, Wiley, Elsevier/ScienceDirect, Oxford, Cambridge, ACM, and Synthesis Digital Library. Often downloads are chapter by chapter, rather than the entire book.
Many e-books the library has purchased or subscribes to may be viewed on-screen using a web browser while you are connected to the site, but are not available for download. These restrictions are due to digital rights management (DRM) imposed by the publisher.
Popular reading e-books in the Maine Infonet Download Library may be downloaded to a variety of personal reading devices.
No, libraries are not allowed to license Kindle e-books as well as many other titles that are sold for use by individuals. Sometimes this means that Fogler is unable to purchase a book at all for our collection, until it is made available in print or through a vendor that licenses e-books to libraries.
Yes, the major one is that licenses and digital
rights management (DRM) can
prevent sharing or interlibrary loan of the e-book in electronic
format, though sharing portions of an e-book via a digital or printed excerpt
may be allowed. Also, some students and faculty prefer to read books
in print format only.
Generally the content is the same, but the e-book format or platform may allow keyword searching within the book, electronic note-taking, and other features. For reference works, the online versions are more like a database, with continual updates and additions by the publisher as needed (e.g. American National Biography or the Oxford English Dictionary). Depending on the publisher, the electronic and print formats are not necessarily available at the same time. For many scholarly publishers, print is available before the e-book, and the opposite is often true for popular and self-published titles.
Librarians and faculty may recommend a print or
online format for a single title at the point of ordering. Groups of
e-books that fit curriculum needs or correspond to prior print
acquisitions may be purchased or subscribed based on distance
courses offered, subject area, and cost differential. Some books
that the library receives on an automated purchase plan, primarily
in the sciences, are delivered as e-books rather than in
print. Finally, some e-books are not selected per se, but are
included in large databases such as Academic Search Complete that
are subscribed primarily for their journal content.
librarian or Deb Rollins, Head of Collection Services