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Published on March 29th, 2012


The E-book Revolution

By Pixie Stardust

The fast and ever-changing world of technology has an ongoing impact on the way we live, work and study.  Life at university is no different with many courses now taught entirely online because so much information can be accessed electronically.  The library at UniSA has embraced technological change and adjusted its collection and services to suit student needs and the changing nature of information. Additional to the thousands of journals that can be accessed online, the library holds over 170,000 e-books.

E-books are remarkably convenient, especially for external and distance students. They support 24/7 access and reduce the risk of receiving fines, demerit points and suspensions. Many e-books can also be downloaded to your computer or mobile device.

Accessing this material is easy – search through Summon or the Catalogue on the UniSA Library website as you would for any other resource. Then click through to start reading.

Some e-books will allow you to browse immediately, or download as PDFs. Others will require you to create a username and password and then borrow the item. Unfortunately not every book is available electronically. There are some restrictions due to format types (e.g. Kindle titles won’t work on IPads unless you get an app) and some publishers impose digital rights management (DRM) conditions on what you can do with the content. Not all publishers allow their e-books to be viewed by multiple users, which can also be very frustrating.  So using e-books is not quite a perfect replacement for real books, but it can be a convenient, readily accessible alternative.

The library also has several Kindles (an e-reader device), at each campus. The Kindles are preloaded with a range of textbooks, reference books and fiction with new titles being added constantly. They can be borrowed just like any other book allowing you to access a large range of content on one lightweight device.  These are great to borrow for leisure reading over the holidays, or for accessing specific textbooks in a lighter, more portable way than a physical book.

More information about e-books can be found in the e-book guide. Access this under Quick Links on the library homepage.

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