If you are searching the Weinberg Library's
OnLine Public Catalog and find a title you
wish to retrieve, but are puzzled by the fact
that the location code shows only a holdings
note called "electronic text,"
then you have accessed a title from the Library's
newest service called netLibrary. As a member
of a state consortium of academic libraries
(PALCI), the Weinberg Library has gained access
to over 2,000 current titles in electronic
format (eBooks) in virtually all areas of
the curriculum, with an addition 4,000 titles
in the public domain (through Project Gutenberg).
Promising to be the first major change in
book publishing since the introduction of
the paperback in the 1930's, electronic
books offer the Weinberg patron the opportunity
to read a page, a chapter or a whole book
from their laptop or desktop anywhere in the
world. NetLibrary, the most established of
the for-profit digital archives, currently
provides its services (for a fee of course)
to more than 1,000 academic libraries, and
70 large public and corporate libraries as
The books are selected from the CHOICE Outstanding
Academic Titles for the current year, so they
are pre-screened for quality of content and
pertinence to the university environment.
They vary in coverage from programming language
titles (such as java or perl) to more esoteric
subjects, such as the archeological expeditions
in the Florida watersheds in the nineteenth
You can search or preview eBooks as an anonymous
user without establishing a login. To actually
check out an eBook, you must first create
a user account. This account must be established
from an authenticated PC on the University's
campus (Library, dorm room, lab or office).
Once the account is created, you may use your
account to log in from any computer with Internet
You may access the netLibrary titles in several
ways. Simply access the Library's homepage
from the University's website (www.scranton.edu),
click on OnLine Public Catalog and do a keyword
search by typing netLibrary into the search
box. You will get a complete list of all titles
currently available to the University of Scranton
community. You may also access the netLibrary
database from the Electronic Index page on
the Library's homepage. With netLibrary,
you can search every word in the entire collection,
as well as search within a particular eBook.
You may preview any title for fifteen minutes,
looking at the table of contents and subject
headings or you simply check it out without
sampling the content. Here is where the account
information is essential. In order to check
out the title and download it to your PC,
your account information must be entered.
The checkout period is three days for PALCI
titles and 24 hours for the general collection.
You must have at least five megabytes free
on your hard drive for a full download. Once
the "loan" period is over, the
file turns to unreadable characters, and you
must delete it in order to free up space on
your hard drive.
Printing is available, one page at a time,
so there is little chance that this product
will replace the traditional monograph you
usually check out for one month at a time
and read at your leisure. What it will do
is give the patron a wider breadth of current
titles that may have a more transitory or
reference- oriented nature, and provide access
to this material outside the traditional four
walls of the Library building.
If you'd like a demonstration of this
new service, or have any questions about setting
up an account or downloading a title, please
feel free to call the Reference Desk at 941-4000
or the Systems Desk at 941-6135.