On 31 May 2016, the Library will begin a trial of Ebook Central from ProQuest. This platform provides access to more than 700,000 ebooks, across a huge range of subjects. These are available on a ‘Demand-Driven Acquisition’ model, meaning that the library will consider acquiring access to books only when you request them. This will give you the opportunity to help shape the School’s ebook collection, and could be used to influence decisions around other resource acquisition as well.
You’ll continue to use Discover, the library’s online catalogue, to search for books; however, you’ll find some new records among your search results. These records will link to books hosted on the Ebook Central platform.
Here, you can access a five-minute preview of each book, giving you time to browse contents pages, sample the text, and decide if the book is what you need (in the preview stage, you won’t be able to print or copy from the book). Alternatively, if you already know that you want full access to the book, you can skip the preview and request the book directly.
To get full access to the book, you will need to request the book from a librarian. Ebook Central has a built-in form to make this easier; simply complete your details, and write a short message about why you think the book will be useful.
Getting a response will usually take up to three working days. You’ll receive an email letting you know whether or not you have access to the book.
Once the ebook is acquired by the library, you’ll have full access to the text, and to the tools offered by Ebook Central. The platform offers you the full book to read online from any web browser, or the Bluefire Reader app, available for iOS or Android; you can also download sections to read offline.
There are a number of accessibility options, including page scaling, text highlighting, and bookmarking, as well as tools for making notes and taking citations directly in your browser. You’ll also be able to share sections of the book with other users, as well as copying text for use in documents. Finally, you’ll be able to print a percentage of pages from the book. Sharing, copying, and printing are all subject to copyright restrictions; to help you stick within copyright limits, Ebook Central will track the amount of copying and printing you have left from each book you access.
We hope that you will find Ebook Central to be an intuitive, easy-to-use platform for accessing a much wider range of ebooks. As this is a trial period, we’re keen to hear what you think, so let us know. You can get in touch with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter.