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Shop ebrary, free online access to 20,000+ in-copyright books and more, + many cool features Monday, 3 April 2006 12:19 pm

Posted by Dongmei in e-books, Internet Resources, search engines.
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If you haven't used "Shop ebrary", you may want to try it, it's really great, and it's free (to anyone) to access and read (online) over 20,000 books from major publishers. These are in-copyright books in multiple academic and general interest subject areas, sheet music titles and reports.

A general keyword search on "stem cells" generates 5338 results, a phrase search of "stem cells" (you have to do a proximity search "stem within-1 cells") brings out 1432 titles. That's just an example. If you like travel, there are plenty of travel guidebooks in it. There are also popular titles like "The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown, "Light and Liberty: reflections on the pursuit of happiness" by Thomas Jefferson, edited by Eric Petersen, controvertial "A Million Little Pieces" by James Frey, etc. If you love classics, there are plenty of those, like Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables".

Set up is quite easy:

1. Set up an ebrary account (with a minimum of $5.00 to view titles at any time).

2. Get ebrary Reader, the free software that allows browsing, searching, and other advanced features.

3. Search full text and view titles in the ebrary database for free. More details.

4. Create a personal Bookshelf to save your bookmarks, highlights and annotations to view whenever you return to ebrary.

5. Pay only to print pages or copy text for a small fee deducted from funds in your ebrary account (generally 25 cents/page).

Cool features (under "info tools", listed a few here):

  • look up new words in an online dictionary;
  • find a person (phone, postal, email address, biography);
  • find a place (on MapQuest, Yahoo! maps, National Geographic);
  • highlight texts in different colors;
  • with one click, you can purchase the book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Gary Price has a review piece about "Shop ebrary", "A (Non-controversial) Alternative to Google Print" on Search Engine Watch; he blogged about this on the Search Engine Watch Blog as well, see "Search and Read Full Text Books Online via ebrary".
Note:
1. It seems not real, but I started this post before I went for the CIL 2006 (Computers in Libraries 2006 Conference) and get caught in other stuff after I came back … I really think people (the general public) should use this service, compared to Google Print (for online book search capabilities) and Amazon's Search Inside the Book, it allows the user to read, annotate, copy and print (for a fee, see above) the full text of books. Compared to other e-book providers(netLibrary, Books24x7, Safari Tech), its interface is clean and very easy to use, and its fully featured search technology is not just cool but powerful.

2. Our library at CofC, just got a subscrption to ebrary. I'll have another post just for that since the paid product does look a little different, and has different functions such as browse capability … …

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