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Gale eBook Trial Offers Glimpse of Thousands of Electronic Resources
March 1, 2012


Extended Services Librarian, Alan Kaye, explains how the Gale eBook trial offer will assist students and faculty.
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Gale eBook Trial


In a university setting, what do we mean by Electronic Books?


If you go to the public library, they have ebooks you can download to a device and play while jogging through your neighborhood in the cool of the evening.  Personal ebook readers like Kindles can download ebooks from wireless connections.  We will be making heavy use of downloadable ebooks on our iPads in the near future.


Mostly what we are talking about in college and university libraries is any book that is scanned into digital form or produced originally in that form, placed on a host server somewhere.  They are made available for reading, printing, and sometimes capturing to PDF files using some type of browser or app.  eBooks for academic libraries are more like in-depth web sites than downloadable files, but they are complete books, and the pages look a lot like printed books.  Sometimes they have links on the page, and that can make them better than a regular book.  There are a variety of host locations and web features for ebooks, and some of those features depend on rights negotiated by the distributor.


Where does a university library ebook actually live?  We wouldn’t “have it” here on campus, nor would we want it here in most cases.  It’s on a vendor’s host site.  We just have links, and they can be found in our catalog or in a database that gathers up all the ebooks from one vendor for searching.


For example, one of our sources of ebooks is the company called Gale Research, which partners with Cengage Learning Corporation and Infotrac to offer digital content.  Their big catch-all repository is called the Gale Virtual Reference Library.


Even though that name suggests that GVRL has reference material, it is where any ebook we purchase from Gale Cengage is found.  The goal of Gale Cengage is that everything they offer be cross-searchable, to maximize discovery.  Therefore, when you open the Gale Virtual Reference Library and do a search, the results can come from any ebook OR reference source we can see in GVRL.  Ordinarily we can only see the ones we have purchased.


For the next few weeks, we are being allowed to see what the Gale Virtual Reference Library would look like if we had bought every one of the 7,000+ ebooks that Gale has to offer.  Faculty members and students on all campuses of Alabama academic libraries can view this collection and use the information in whatever way is allowable by the site.


As a member of the Faulkner family, you have this trial access extended to you, starting now!


Click here to access the trial site: Gale eBook Trial


When you get to this site, click on the button that says, “Access Trial,” and you will see all of the ebooks.


You might recall that we sent out instructions recently for Gale’s “AML College” iPad app, which shows you the reference books we have from AVL, along with just the ebooks Faulkner has already purchased.  I can tell you now that this trial has many more ebooks than Faulkner actually has permanent access for using.  If you are curious about whether the trial will help you with your research or class preparation, now is the time to take a look.


While using the trial access, take note of Gale’s searching tool at the top that allows pinpoint accuracy in narrowing your search.  I believe this is the same tool they call PowerSearch.  Counting all the reference books and everything else, it will search over 7 million documents and offers advanced searching features.

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