Friday, April 4, 2008

Thing #12 - NetLibrary and WorldCat

Thing#12 has two parts: NetLibrary and WorldCat

NetLibrary ebooks

There are free ebooks all over the Internet (examples include
Project Gutenberg and the classics available from the University of Virginia. Websites like these are great for out of copyright classics. There are many ebook websites including and where you can download new ebooks from bestsellers to textbooks for a fee. NetLibrary offers access to both out of copyright and new ebooks that are free to library customers who sign up for an account with their library cards from subscribing libraries.

While NetLibrary offers audiobooks for downloading to libraries, the subscription that Ocean County Library gets through an arrangement with the NJ State Library only includes ebooks. The option to download the ebooks is not part of our subscription.

The new copyrighted titles available in NetLibrary depend on what each library choses so just as different libraries have different collections on their shelves, the NetLibrary collection from the State Library is different from a collection chosen by a library elsewhere. This collection tends to be heavy with business and computer titles.

Unlike the other electronic subscription databases, customers (and you) have to be inside a OCL location to sign up for an account. Once you have a free account you can use it anywhere but the first time you have to be inside one of our buildings using one of our computers (not a laptop using our wireless connection).

Discovery Resource:

NetLibrary Help and FAQs

Discovery Exercises:

1. Go to our list of subscription databases about
Books and Reading. Click on NetLibrary and sign up for a NetLibrary account. Remember you have to be inside a library building when signing up.

2. Take a look around NetLibrary. Find a book either through browsing or a keyword search. Learn how to move around the chapters and pages. Don't know what to search for? Try a basic search term like BUSINESS or COMPUTERS.

3. Blog about NetLibrary. Was it easy to use? Could you show a customer how to use it?

Optional Advanced Exercises:

1. For a different ebook experience, explore the classic reference books on including Respectfully Quoted, a great quotation book that was created by the Library of Congress. Even though this book was published in 1989, as a US government produced title it is free of copyright restrictions.

2. Visit
Project Gutenberg and download a book to your computer. You can search for specific titles in a variety of ways or just browse the Top 100 Ebooks downloaded recently. If you're interested, you can subscribe to an RSS feed that will keep you informed as titles are added. Project Gutenberg has public domain audiobooks and digital sheetmusic, too. Hint: it is easy to find a downloaded file if you download it to the computer desktop but when you've completed this optional exercise, please delete the book from the computer. Too many unnecessary files on the desktop can slow a computer.

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WorldCat lets you search the collections of libraries both locally and thousands more around the world. WorldCat doesn't include every library but it is the largest collection of searchable titles in the world.

Items in WorldCat include

* books

* music CDs

* DVDs/videos

* article citations - sometimes with links to full text

* documents and photos of local or historic significance

* digital versions of rare items

WorldCat is a version of what our Interlibrary Loan department uses to find what libraries own items so the items can be requested for our customers.

Discovery Resources:

About WorldCat

WorldCat help and FAQs

WorldCat Advanced Search screen

Discovery Exercise:

1. Take a look around
WorldCat and search a recent book title. Click on the title for more detailed information and in the Enter location box put in your home zipcode and click go. What's the closest library that owns the title?

2. Click on the different tabs on the screen for a individual title such as Details and Subjects to find what information is hiding under those tabs.

3. Go to the advanced search screen and play around with some searches, then blog about WorldCat. Do you think WorldCat will help you and your customers with the form below?

Optional Advanced Exercise:

1. Use the Ocean County Library catalog and search any New Jersey or Ocean County history topic. Pick a book with an old publication date (the older the better). Now search that title at See how many libraries are listed in WorldCat as owning that book. Can you find a title where OCL is one of 500 or less libraries that own it in the world? Or just search the Pauline Miller title, Ocean County: Four Centuries in the Making to see who owns a copy of our local history.

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