Lesson 7 | EBooks on EbscoHost | March 9, 2015
*The South Dakota Library Challenge: Electronic Resources Edition was developed by the South Dakota State Library staff to introduce you to the statewide subscription electronic resources. The Electronic Resources Challenge encourages library staff to learn more about the resources that provide expanded access to information and research tools to all schools, libraries and citizens of South Dakota.
For Week 7 of the SDSL Electronic Resource Edition Challenge, my task was to explore Ebooks on EbscoHost. This resource provides all South Dakota libraries with an expansive nonfiction collection containing books on topics ranging from Kathy Ross's craft books to resume books to historical information about South Dakota. Other books include many classic novels, "Idiot's Guides," Cliff's Notes, and more. The books are limited to one user per book, and books are released after 15 minutes of inactivity. The newest titles available in the SDSL subscription are copyright 2006 and are not downloadable.
To get to know this resource better, I first did a search on "endangered species." This is a topic of interest to me right now because I am helping the 7th grade teachers and students at my school with their endangered species research paper project. This search brought up 33 results. I noticed that within those results, I could sort by relevance, date newest, date oldest, author, title, and date added. Another feature would allow me to limit my results to full text, download available, publication date, and more. I opened the first eBook, which was "Endangered Species: A Reference Handbook." At the top of the page, I was given the basic information about the eBook including authors, publication information, description, subjects, categories, and more. Below that, it showed me the "Most Relevant Pages from this eBook" with the option to view those pages. This was an interested feature and one that I have not seen in any of the other resources that we have explored in this Challenge. There was also a Table of Contents with clickable links. On the right side of the page, there was a tool bar with the following options: search within, create note, dictionary, save pages, email pages, add to folder, cite, export, permalink, and share. Overall, I found this resource to be user-friendly and easy to navigate with good, relevant information.
For the second part of this Challenge, I was asked to find information about the Constitution of the United States of America for students needing more materials for a Constitution Day project. I searched for the term "Constitution of the United States of America" and was given 30 results. From these results, I would recommend these titles: "AP U.S. Government and Politics, "The Constitution of the United States of America," "The Reader's Companion to American History." I chose these titles based off of the link for the most relevant pages from the books. I also tried a few different search terms, but I didn't have much luck finding relevant eBooks with my other searches.
Finally, I was given the following task: "A class is doing projects on Western history. They have exhausted the library's print collection. In eBooks on EbscoHost, click 'Advanced Search.' In the 'Select a Field' box, choose 'PB Publisher.' In the search box, type 'Nebraska' or 'Oklahoma.' Report your findings." So, in the search box, I typed in "Nebraska." From this search, I was given 56 eBook results all from the University of Nebraska Press. This seems like a great alternative method for looking up information of this type and in this format.
I still feel like I have some exploring to do with this resource so that I can discover all of its options, but it certainly seems to be a useful research companion.