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Booking It on the Net

November 21st, 2003 by Isaac Meadows in E-Resources

What if the Reserve Desk at the Ethel K. Smith Library had over twenty-thousand books? What if you could look for those twenty-thousand books any time, day or night? What if you could check out any of those books at any time of the day? What if you could do this not only from the Library, but anyplace with access to the Web? Well, the Ethel K. Smith Library and NCLIVE offer something that does just that, netLibrary. If you are in the Library or know the NC-LIVE@Home password, you can do all of this and more.

From the NCLIVE Subject menu, choose E-Books (netLibrary is the only choice afterwards). From there, NCLIVE will take you to netLibrary. Once you are in netLibrary, you may search by Author, Title, Subject, Keyword, or even from the Full Text. Just like the online catalog, you will see a listing of the titles that match your search. You may either browse the book for a little while or check it out for four hours. Why only four hours? Well, it is like a reserve item at the library (where the checkout period is only three hours!). The books on netLibrary are current, professional and scholarly in nature. They are not in the public domain and are protected by copyright. On the other hand, once you’ve checked out a book, you can put it on your personal reading shelf, so you don’t have to look it up all over again, make notations, and place annotated bookmarks where you may keep your place or come back to some part you want to reread later.

So how does netLibrary know your bookshelf, notes and bookmarks are yours? Well, you must create an account (sorry). The downside is that account consists of yet another userid and password. On the upside, you get to create the userid and password, so it can be anything you like–provided someone else hasn’t already taken what you want for a userid.

Okay then, does netLibrary replace the one here at Wingate University? Not at all! Although netLibrary has over 22,000 books, the Ethel K. Smith Library has over 110,000. Each book in the Ethel K. Smith Library was selected for Wingate Students and the courses taught at the University. The books for netLibrary are selected for a much wider audience and so many more of the titles would not be relevant to the classes taught here. Also, unlike the library–where you can copy some of the reserve items–there is no facility to print of parts of the book you are reading. It’s a copyright thing. You have to employ the time honored (and very useful) technique of note-taking.

Over all, netLibrary is a wonderful supplement to the Ethel K. Smith collection. netLibrary offers current books of substance that would be a credit to any bibliography. Take a look today. If you want to know more about netLibrary, please contact Jimm Wetherbee at jimm@wingate.edu or 8092.

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