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  • Writer's pictureMonique Gaddy

Easing into E-Resources: What is an e-resource?

Updated: Apr 13, 2020

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The Hidden Resource:

You may be familiar with many of the materials that you have access to at our library, such as books, CDs, audiobooks, magazines, and DVDs. But were you familiar with the array of resources that are available electronically? Do you know what an electronic resource is? For those of you who are willing to take the journey into the vast world of electronic resources, this blog series is for you.

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What is an e-resource?

An e-resource is anything available in electronic format. Caldwell Public Library has a lot of options for e-resources, such as books, audiobooks, music for streaming and download, magazines, online tutorials, and an array of databases that can help you with anything from practicing for a G.E.D. or S.A.T. test to writing your high school or college paper.

What are the benefits of e-resources?

There are many reasons that e-resources are an excellent choice for you. One, often a physical book or a title you are waiting for has a wait-list. Sometimes you will be researching a particular topic, and the best, most recent books are available in electronic format only. For instance, did you know that while you often have to wait for a book about the Ketogenic diet, there are often many of these books available in digital format, without a waiting list?

Another great reason to try out e-resources is that you don’t have to come into the library to check them out, you can just download or stream them straight from your device, all you need is an internet connection! Some e-resources, such as databases, don’t even require a library card to get access to! You just have to know where to find them.

Lastly, while our library no longer charges for overdue fines on any materials, with an e-resource/book, you never need to worry about lost or damaged fines. Once you are done, simply return the item through the app and it disappears. Forgot to return through the app? The book will return itself when you reach the due date. For those who use databases for more scholarly or extensive research, you don’t have to rely on school logins to research materials, just click on the resources link through our website and research whenever you need to.

How can I learn how to use them?

Many times, library users can be intimidated with the process of learning how to checkout online materials. Fortunately, there are many guides that come with downloading and using e-resources. In fact, the best guides come from the websites themselves. Some apps, like Libby for Overdrive, include a helpful virtual guide to ease you through the process of using the software. Make sure you have your library card number handy, and, if for some reason you get lost or stuck, don’t worry, we can help you out.

Image of a tablet with a cord going into a physical book.

What if I can’t figure it out?

So you’re ready to download your favorite e-book, e-audiobook, and music streaming apps, but you can’t seem to get past a certain point. Don’t worry, there is help available at the library! Come in and stop by the Information desk, and we can help you figure out the problem. Usually it’s just a quick fix, such as making sure software is updated, connecting to WiFi, or updating library card information. Getting really stuck and think that it will take some extra time and commitment to figure it out? Schedule a tech tutor appointment with one of the librarians and learn all the tricks you need to get e-resources checked out. The best thing about tech tutor appointments is that they are free, and you get a full hour of one-on-one help.

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Up next: Libby for Overdrive

Stay tuned for the next Easing into E-Resources blog, where we will highlight all the things that one of our most popular e-resource apps can do for you. Libby for Overdrive is a great e-resource for e-books and e-audiobooks; it’s available for many devices, and once you get going, it’s easy to use. Don’t forget, it’s never too late to participate in lifelong learning opportunities, and if you need an extra hand, the library is available to help. Until next time, happy reading!

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