Need course texts? Part 3: Library Resources

In my two previous posts on identifying free and affordable course texts for your classes, I discussed open educational resources (OER) and works in the public domain. Another great source for free-to-use course texts is — you guessed it! — the library. We subscribe and purchase so your students don’t have to.

Finding Texts

DELCAT Discovery is the obvious place to begin searching the library’s book collections, particularly if you’re considering placing a print book on Course Reserve in Morris Library. The library’s ebooks have records in DELCAT that link to the full text, too. However, you may want to search some of these collections of literary texts directly:

This list is not exhaustive. For example, serialized or short literary works may be available in the library’s periodical subscriptions.

Understanding Licenses

You are always welcome to link to articles in the library’s subscription collections. While JSTOR and some individual publishers offer ebooks for use by unlimited simultaneous users, the vast majority of titles from ProQuest Ebook Central and the EBSCO eBook Collection are licensed for either a single user or up to three simultaneous users. When you click a “View Ebook” link in DELCAT Discovery, you will see the detailed record for the ebook that includes a description of the license type and uses allowed. If you would like to use a single-user or three-user ebook with a class, please let me know in advance so that I can help make sure your students will be able to access the book when they need it.

Linking to Resources

Although this post focuses on ebooks, the following information applies to articles, too. When you want to share digital resources from the library’s collections with your students in Canvas, in an email message, or in an electronic document, you can use a direct link to the resource instead of uploading or sending the entire document.

Here are three reasons to consider linking to the library’s e-books and articles rather than posting PDFs to Canvas:

  1. Avoid violating licensing and copyright restrictions.
  2. Help students become familiar with library resources.
  3. Help the library track which resources are in demand.

Tip #1: Always use the permalink, or durable URL, for the item.

The URL that appears in your browser’s address bar may contain data that expires, but each database provides a way to copy a stable link to a particular resource.

Tip #2: Make sure the URL begins with UD’s EZProxy prefix.

That way students will be able to access the material from anywhere—on or away from campus. You can add the prefix (https://library.udel.edu/static/proxy.php?) to the beginning of any permalink or use the the EZproxy URL Creator.

Tip #3: Let me know if I can help!

I’m happy to help you with understanding licenses, locating permalinks, or creating proxied links. I can even create a research guide with a list of resources that you can embed into your Canvas course site.