Thursday, October 22, 2009

Free books! Give it a click.

It has never been so easy to read. Carbon based or digital based, stationary or mobile, books are everywhere. Thanks to e-books a cell phone can access millions of books - for free.

Developing the CCHS Library Learning Commons web portal has been a big project this year. One aspect of this work has been focusing on diversifying the formats available to students. Today I created a Google Custom Search widget for eBooks and added the link to the catalog page. This widget searches 8 free e-archives for titles in every branch of study, all downloadable with a click. (See widget below. Go on, test it out! )

The thing I really like about this is that if a title is not in the public domain the search also returns commercial sources (Barnes & Noble, Amazon, etc.) You exit the search with a book or the ability to purchase access.

What does this mean for libraries? The ease and portability of e-books means they are here to stay. The new Nook looks very exciting and early reviews are positive. Over the next few months there will be an explosion of new devices and the technology is leaping ahead almost daily. In the not-too-distant future libraries will be checking out e-books and e-readers as often as they check out print material. And don't worry, print books aren't going anywhere. It is the addition of so many alternatives that is exciting.

What does this look like here at CCHS? We already have a substantial collection of e-books. Take a look at our catalog and do an author search for Shakespeare. Of the 95 titles, almost half are either e-books or audio MP3 formats. So many different ways to access the works of Shakespeare! The manga versions are a lot of fun and provide a terrific introduction for students. What a fantastic time to be a reader!

Explore our catalog and see what an e-book looks like. Try the Google Custom Search widget and download a classic text to your desktop.

Custom Search

Google Custom Search - Free eBooks!

Photo Credit:
Flickr Creative Commons "Mis ebooks, o "sólo falta el Sony Reader"
Uploaded on September 17, 2008
by kandinski

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