Remote Libraries: Checking Out Ebooks

Are card catalogs and book stacks things of the past? Maybe not, but with the libraries in even small colleges and universities across the United States offering electronic books you certainly don't have to spend a lot of time poking around the shelves. In fact, you don't even have to be in the library to research and check out e-books.

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Checking Out E-books On Campus

Checking out an e-book from a college library typically requires no more than your student ID number. E-book titles offered by your college's library can usually be found by searching the online catalog. You can search for them by author, title or subject. E-books are typically presented as Adobe Acrobat PDF files, but they may also come in other formats. They can be viewed and returned, much like taking an actual book off the shelf and flipping through the pages, or they can be checked out for an extended period of time, usually up to 24 hours.

While e-books are being viewed, they are not accessible by another user. Once the book has been checked out for viewing and is not accessed or handled for 15 minutes, the title is returned and can then be picked up by another user. While copyright protection does not allow for entire books to be printed, in some cases individual pages are printable.

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Accessing E-books from Off-Campus Locations

E-books are provided to most college libraries through NetLibrary, which is a user-friendly platform utilized for e-book searches and downloads. You will be required to have a NetLibrary account if you want to check out e-books from remote sites, such as your home or dorm. From an on-campus computer, go to the NetLibrary home page and click on the link to create a free account. Simply provide your name, password and email address. It's that easy!

Once you have a NetLibrary account, you can view or check out e-books offered through your school library or NetLibrary from your personal computer. As a NetLibrary member, you will have the ability to bookmark, highlight text and even make notes in the e-book. Having a NetLibrary account will also give you access to books offered by NetLibrary that might not appear through your school's online catalog, such as out-of-print or classic titles.

Libraries aren't the only source of e-books available to students.

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