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A treasure trove of online books

Historically, libraries have operated on a simple model—you come to the library, you choose a book, you borrow the book, you read the book, you return the book (hopefully on time and in good condition). ALC Library has found itself in extraordinary times in recent months where even borrowing a book has proved challenging, but this has enabled us to expand and promote to many of our staff and students, a hidden treasure.

Our reputation of excellent service has centred on our physical, our recent, our rare, our unique, and our extensive collection of books and journals. The current pandemic has curtailed our ability to provide them in a traditional way yet, while physically restricted, the Library has continued to provide resources to onsite and distance borrowers. These limitations have led us to explore new ways of providing books and journal articles.

Amidst a collection of almost 100,000 books, we can now offer to you almost 1000 electronic books. Ebooks. Through our online catalogue, the record for any resource identified as an ebook contains a link which, when clicked, takes you to a file which looks like a book and behaves like a book (though sadly it doesn’t feel or smell like a book).

If you are a registered member of the ALC Library, and have a borrower’s barcode, you can enter a trove of online books. Over recent months we have distributed our most recently acquired titles with simple access instructions. Many new ebook titles are online versions of hard copies which the Library already holds, and the University of Divinity, through its digital Hub, has even more titles for enrolled students.

If you are not a registered member of the Library, you can sign up online here. Fees may apply.

If you need help with accessing ebooks, you might try the library guide.

To understand the range of ebooks held by the Library, try a subject search on the catalogue for ‘Electronic books’ or for the most recent, click on the ‘New books’ link on the top right of the online catalogue page. Ebook titles will have [electronic resource] after the main title.

Further access to online resources is available through a number of libraries (including the National Library of Australia and the State Library of South Australia) who offer free membership and access to a spectrum of online journals for private study. Other state libraries offer the same service. Copying and distributing them as online resources have copyright implications, but informing staff and students of these as individual research options is helpful in these times when access to physical resources is limited.

These are the links to follow to apply for membership.

https://www.nla.gov.au/getalibrarycard/

https://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/join-state-library

So curl up in a warm place with a computer (and maybe a cat) for company and take an expedition to our online collection. It may not be quite as nice as browsing for a ‘real’ book but you can still judge a book by its cover—its ecover.

Do not hesitate to contact the Library staff by phone 7120 8270 or email library@alc.edu.au if you need any assistance.