Ebooks have become prevalent in all aspects of life -- both within the scholarly community and especially in popular reading. The results of a 2011 survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project bears out the fact that more and more people are reading e-books and using e-book readers. The Baylor University Libraries started their first e-book collection in 1999/2000 by participating in the first Amigos/netLibrary shared e-book collection. Now the Baylor Libraries' collection holds nearly 500,000 e-books.
E-books are like any other new information format (microforms, videos, CDs, DVDs, electronic databases, e-journals, etc.) that has emerged through the years. The content and purpose of the resource is of primary consideration, and if the format (in this case e-books) best meets those needs, that is the format that is purchased. Additionally, we place records in OneSearch for e-books that fit our collection profile. If a particular e-book is used significantly, it is automatically purchased and permanently added to our holdings -- "demand-driven acquisition" -- another way of identifying resources that best meet the needs of our constituents.
This guide will:
Although e-books been around for quite some time, e-books within a library context are still in an evolutionary stage. It is important to note -- at this time -- the only e-books the Baylor Library has that can be downloaded for off-line reading are from the EBSCO Ebooks collection. For many other e-book collections, you can often download PDFs of part of the e-book which can then be read on any device that supports a PDF reader. Particuarly for popular reading, you may want investigate the collection of e-books provided from OverDrive by the Waco-McLennan County Library and obtain a library card if this collection is of interest to you. For additional information, provided from a group of Texas public libraries, you may want to look at this guide, Ebooks for Texans.
To find e-books in OneSearch, do the following:
Below is an RSS feed of freely available ebooks that is maintained by John Mark Ockerbloom at the University of Pennsylvania Library.