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Heald Checks Out EBSCO EBooks

Private career school Heald College has enhanced its digital book collection by signing up for an eBooks on EBSCOhost subscription from EBSCO Publishing. The college, which has 10 campuses in California, one in Portland, OR, and another in Honolulu, already subscribed to multiple EBSCOhost databases. Now, when students, faculty, and staff do a search in those databases, eBooks also show up in the results.

"Adding e-book content and searching it alongside EBSCOhost databases has provided access to significantly more content--a growing database of sorts--and has sparked the need for users to learn how to filter content during discovery or searching more thoughtfully," said Heald's Division Director of Library Services Howard Fuller. "It has also raised the collective awareness of e-books as a significant growing strategic aspect of our library and learning resources."

The librarians, who made the selection, sought a service with integrated discovery, permalinks at various levels in the text, the ability to search content via multiple fields, simple integration into course assignments, and various usability features.

In the time the newer system has been implemented, Fuller noted, the two most used features are the integration of e-book content into course assignments and the guidance of students to specific chapter and section content. "Most recently," he added, "we've worked with several faculty members to use several e-books to supplement knowledge gaps in a test-prep study guide students use for a national certification exam. These e-books are available to students and faculty on the library Web site when they need them, from wherever they choose to use them--home, café, or from within the library."

When a patron wants to read an e-book, he or she clicks a download link on the results page, agrees to the specified checkout period, and clicks "Checkout & Download." The ebook can be read through a free Adobe reader or on a portable device.

The EBSCO service currently claims more than 350,000 e-books and audio books that are available for purchase on an individual basis as well as in various collected formats, as subjects or for particular types of institutions. For example, a community college edition has 45,500 titles, covering the humanities and social sciences, business, science and technology, and literary criticism, whereas a criminal justice collection has 61 titles.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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