MODULE 3: Books as Information Sources:
Section 4 of 6, LIBARARY DATABASES FOR BOOKS, page 3 of 5.


The example database we will search is NetLibrary.

The NetLibrary database contains REAL BOOKS. The books are, primarily, current academic books. They provide the exact same text as the printed version of the books.

Vital information: When searching from the Basic Search page, the best search options (from the drop-down menu to the left) are Keyword, Subject, Author, or Title…NOT Full-Text. All the books have the complete text available. In this case, what they mean by Full-Text is, "Do you want the databases to search every word of 50,000 books for these terms?" That is usually not the best way to go. A Keyword search matches the words you enter with the Author, Title, and Subject under which a book is listed, and is a good way to go. The Advanced Search page offers other ways to search as well.

Favorites and notes: Each time you log into the NetLibrary database, it recognizes you as a unique patron.The benefits of this include the ability to

Listings in the Library Catalog: The sole method for accessing the actual text of books in NetLibrary is through the Library's database page. However, you may also identify books in NetLibrary by using the Library Catalog. The catalog lists the traditional (print) books within TROY Libraries. It also lists books within several eBook databases, including NetLibrary, but does not provide direct access to them.

Viewing the text: From the results list (the list of items found during a search of the database), select "View this eBook." When you do this, you are, essentially, checking out the book. Additionally, a powerful feature that can also be accessed from the results list is "Show Details." Show Details allows you to see a list of subject headings for the book in question, e.g., Indians of North America--Religion. Clicking on a given subject heading finds additional books on that topic.

Closing an item: When you have finished viewing an item, clicking the "Close item" link (on the left-hand side) will put it back on the shelf. It is good etiquette to close items when you have finished--it makes them immediately available to other users. If you do not, these books may be inaccessible to other users until you either close the item or log out of the database. You are automatically logged out of your session after 15 minutes of inactivity.

Searching within a book: When you are viewing a book, the "Search this eContent" box at the lower left will let you search for words you want to find in the text within the book, i.e., you can ask it to tell you on what pages you can find terms of interest to you.

Saving: Yes, you can save individual pages from books, but not entire books or chapters. Because of copyright restrictions, you cannot save every page ... the database will let you know when you have reached the limit.

Printing: Yes, you can print individual pages from books, but not entire books or chapters. Because of copyright restrictions, you cannot print every page ... the database will let you know when you have reached the limit.

The Reference Center: Linked on the right side of the NetLibrary home page, this feature allows you to search and browse reference resources, including encyclopedias, dictionaries, directories, handbooks, thesauri, and more. Not just plain-old dictionaries, but reference books for art, biology, chemistry, computer science, history, literature, and most other disciplines.

More information about these books:

These books ARE: They are Real Books! They are the electronic versions of current, traditional books. They are the same as the printed materials you find in libraries and book stores. The books in NetLibrary are published in print format as well, but making them available online allows TROY students worldwide to access the text immediately, regardless of their geographic location. These are real books from established publishers such as Cambridge University Press, Greenwood, Harvard Business School, Houghton Mifflin, Irwin, John Wiley & Sons, Macmillan, Oryx, Sage, South-Western, and St. Martin's.

These books are NOT: They are not unpublished works—they are actually the electronic versions of traditional, printed books. They are not special or edited versions of real books; they ARE the real books.

Users should be aware that a small percentage of the titles in this database (fewer than 10%) are books that are in the public domain. Most of these books are older (usually published prior to 1925), e.g., the works of Shakespeare, Homer, Plato, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Charles Dickens, etc. Although these books are openly available from online sources other than NetLibrary, it may be preferable to access them via this database for the following reasons:

  • You can read, search, and make notes in them using the NetLibrary interface.
  • You can provide citations to them that may be simpler, more uniform, and more reliable than citations to a Web site version of the book.



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