Choosing e-books for spring semester

Academic Library Services has a growing and large selection of e-books for research and classroom use.  Some of the e-books are purchased individually for specific uses, such as supporting materials for classes.  Others are part of thriving collections. ALS tries to make using e-books as easy as possible for our patrons, both faculty and students.

Whenever possible, we get digital rights management-free, unlimited license e-books.  These books allow many simultaneous users.  There also are no printing or downloading restrictions.

Those e-book choices are ideal, but some others do have printing and downloading restrictions. A few even have limits on how many people can view the e-book at the same time.  There is a title page for each e-book that explains this information.  For more help interpreting the rules for a particular e-book, Ask a librarian is a useful tool.  It is important to remember traditional textbooks from larger companies like Pearson, Cengage or McGraw-Hill might not be attainable.  We support the use of open textbooks such as those found in the UNC System’s OER Hub or the University of Minnesota’s Open Textbook Library.

EXAMPLES: Our most-used books are usually required textbooks for certain classes.  Developing Word Recognition was used 8,904 times in the past year.  Strategies That Work, 3RD Edition: Teaching Comprehension for Engagement, Understanding, and Building Knowledge, Grades K-8 was used 8,234 times in the same time frame.  Collection Management Basics, 7th Edition was used 2,874 times in the last year.  This shows how e-books assigned as texts can get a lot of use from students.

PUBLISHERS: Many e-books are purchased as part of collections from publishers Wiley, Oxford, Taylor & Francis and ScienceDirect.  In business for 200 years, Wiley is primarily a scientific, technical and medical publisher.  Oxford publishes in more than 40 languages and has been publishing for more than 400 years.  They work in a vast array of subjects and published 370 higher education titles in 2020-21 alone.  Taylor & Francis encompasses the humanities imprint Routledge and publishes in science, technology, medicine and social science as well.  ECU recently made a special investment in e-book collections by Elsevier. Academic Affairs provided one-time funding during the summer to purchase all remaining 2020 and 2021 front list e-book collections hosted on the ScienceDirect platform. Collections span a wide variety of scientific, technical and medical fields like materials science, neurology, chemistry and earth sciences, joining previously acquired medical, dental, immunology and microbiology collections.

CONTACT: Professors should try the ECU e-book portal to look for e-books for classes.  Cindy Shirkey oversees the process for ALS and can assist in hopefully achieving a great e-book experience.  Her email is