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University Libraries expands the virtual space

The popularity of eBooks is soaring. Amazon.com reported selling more eBooks than hardcover books last year, and one market research firm, Forrester Research, has predicted that overall eBook sales in the United States will hit $1 billion this year.

This trend is also increasingly extending into academia, with more students looking for electronic resources to help them study for exams, conduct research or simply learn more about interesting topics, said Amira Aaron, University Libraries’ associate dean of scholarly resources.

Recognizing this demand, the Northeastern University Libraries has substantially expanded its eBook scholarly resource offerings in the past year. With the recent subscription to the ebrary Academic Complete collection, the library is now providing access to more than 52,000 additional eBook titles. Aaron said the effort is part of a huge transformation to eBooks across many disciplines, and the ongoing eBook additions provide numerous benefits to the Northeastern community.

“We are now able to offer 24/7 access to these books from multiple locations for multiple users,” Aaron said. “With growing numbers of distance education and online classes, many students no longer come to campus on a regular basis, so electronic books and journals are critical to support teaching and research.”

Users can try out the new collection of eBooks by going directly to the ebrary site, or finding individual titles through NuCat from the library website. All of the library’s e-books are listed individually in NuCat.

Aaron is also hoping that scholarly eBook publishers will soon be providing more content that is downloadable directly to devices such as Kindles and Nooks.

Last year, University Libraries announced the availability of the 2010 full collection of eBooks from Springer Publishing, one of the top international publishers of scientific, technical and medical titles. The set also includes 2005–2009 volumes from the Computer Collection, including the prestigious Lecture Notes in Computer Science series.