When looking at digital e-books that can be added to a library’s collection, it is important to know that not all e-books collections are made equal. The usability of the e-book platforms; whether the e-books be further downloaded as pdf’s; compatible with e-readers on the market; are just a few of the many questions a library asks before acquiring or purchasing.
Also with regards to e-books, there are digital rights that the publisher continues to maintain over how these books are distributed or accessed over the time a library maintains rights to its content. Too many limitations over content can be a determining factor for whether libraries will purchase a publisher e-book package or not. These digital rights are disclosed prior to purchase and are included in-depth license agreements.
CUNY Office of Library Services negotiates a number of large e-book purchases with the following publishers; Palgrave, Gale, Sage, Oxford, to name a few. Intermingled within these packages can be thousands of e-books that the College of Staten Island Library purchases outright independently of CUNY.
As a focus here, Palgrave Connect contains a series of e-book collections from 2010 to 2013. This e-book platform is featured on the library database page and describes that it contains over 3,000 titles offered in the Humanities, the Social Sciences and Business. These ebooks are further organized in subject collections based on the year of publication and by specific sub-series. When looking at content, Palgrave is a leading academic publisher in the areas specified above.
However, how do their e-books rate as far being user friendly and accessible? One can browse the specific collections or conduct a basic keyword search. In the advanced search feature, one can chose more options including the ability to ‘preview’ all of the 12,500 Palgrave e- books and 500 journals or limit to the full access that the library has. Also on this platform, a user will see Palgrave Pivot Titles, Single Chapters and a new section called Open Access Titles. Palgrave Pivot is a new publishing venture where authors are digitally publishing their articles and/ or scholarly monographs digitally directly with Palgrave after a peer-review process.
These titles will appear as ‘Palgrave Pivot’ titles in your search. Currently, there is only one open-access title. In all, the Palgrave Connect Platform has all the features needed; downloadable to pdf (see full book), mobile downloads, a view option (segments of the book that can be keyword searched, related titles shown, author biography, and references hyperlinked). The useability of the platform for subject browsing can be a little complicated. The user will be taken to a subject area landing zone and will need to next click on a blue tab called “Browse Subject Titles.”
For any patron having difficulty in addition to going to a reference librarian, FAQ’s and Help links can always assist with any questions for again, not all e-book platforms or collections are made equal.
For more information, please contact:
Kerry A. Falloon, Assistant Professor & Acquisitions Librarian