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Maxwell accesses free eBooks

Posted 10/19/2012   Updated 10/19/2012 Email story   Print story

    


by Rebecca Burylo
Air University Public Affairs


10/19/2012 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -  -- Reading, checking out and even waiting in line for library books at the Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center, or FRIC, can all be done virtually with the use of eBooks.

Carrie Cook, electronic services librarian, gave a presentation Oct. 10 on how those at Maxwell can access the library's wide selection of eBooks.

The FRIC has more than 55,000 eBooks, digital files of paper books, through its two databases, Ebsco and Overdrive. They have been available at the library for a year, and Cook says they have been growing with popularity each month.

"At the beginning, it was like 10 or 15 people a month that were reading eBooks from a computer," she said. "Last month it was about 800 from Air University folks. It's been interesting to watch the numbers go up exponentially of how many people are checking these out."

Not only can patrons view eBooks from the library's in-house computers, but they can download them to external devices, such as Kindles, Nooks, smartphones or tablets, like the iPad.

Those at Maxwell can access the library's eBook selection through their personal or work computers by downloading Adobe Digital Editions for Ebsco or the Overdrive Media Console for Overdrive. Adobe Digital Editions was approved by the Air Force to be downloaded onto military desktops, but Overdrive Media Console has not and can only be used with personal electronic devices.

Not only can Overdrive be used by those at Air University, but it can be accessed by any military, civilian, contractor or retiree and their families. Access to Ebsco's eBooks is available only to Air University faculty, students or staff through a link on the library's home page. Patrons can contact the library for registration assistance.

On the FRIC's homepage is a link to access Overdrive, and registration can be self-administered as long as the user has a military email account. Once a confirmation is sent to the selected email address, patrons can select and check out eBooks or other media files.

Those without a military account can come by the FRIC and one of the librarians will help with access to Overdrive or Ebsco.

Reading periods are up to 14 days with a five book limit, while Ebsco allows only seven days with an unlimited number of check-outs.

In both Ebsco and Overdrive, the number of eBooks available, currently checked out or on hold is displayed for each eBook.

Inside Ebsco is a wide range of academic, educational and military resources that can be searched by subject, title or author, while Overdrive is a bit more open and much less academic, according to Cook.

"Overdrive has more of a less academic feel to it. They have a large amount of audio books, videos and music, and it has a lot of fun reading even for kids," said Cook. "So it has a much broader scope, and its a little bit more interactive where you can rate books and tell other people in the Air Force what you thought about the book."



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