Skip navigation.
New Mexico State University
NMSU Library News

NMSU Library Collects E-Books

The NMSU Library is actively building a collection in e-book format to provide the best service for the NMSU community.  An e-book is a book, just like a physical book you can find on the shelves in the Library.  However, instead of having a physical existence, it is stored as a digital image.  This allows e-books to be accessed from outside the Library 24/7/365.  As with physical books, there are circulating e-books and reference e-books. ebrary copy_small

Circulating e-books are checked out which makes them available to the patron who checks them out.  In many cases, the patron checking an e-book out has the option of either downloading it to his own e-reader, or accessing the title through the Library’s or vendor’s websites.  The majority of the Library’s circulating e-books were purchased for single user only, which means that when you check out an e-book, it ceases to be available to other users, just like a physical book.

Reference e-books can only be accessed online through the Library’s catalog, or, in some cases, directly from the vendor’s website.  If you are accessing the catalog or the website from off-campus, you may be asked for your username and password to authenticate you as a person who is authorized to access the resource you are requesting.  Many reference e-books can be accessed by multiple users simultaneously.

The Library currently has e-books from NetLibrary, EBSCO, ebrary, Gale Virtual Reference, EBL and a few directly from the publishers.  Most come from EBSCO, EBL and ebrary.  Each vendor has different content, search basics and rules for printing, downloading, viewing and checkout.  They also require different apps for use with various e-readers.  The Library purchased its first e-book collection from NetLibrary in 2003.  This was followed by additional purchases in 2004–2006.  In 2009, the Library started purchasing e-books using title-by-title selection, adding an additional 1,165 titles in the past five years.

Several projects are underway to expand and enhance the Library’s e-book collection.  Thanks to the generosity of New Mexico citizens in passing the 2012 GO Bond, the state is subscribing to more than 100,000 e-books from EBSCO for the next two years.  Records for these materials are in the process of being loaded into our catalog, so students, faculty, and staff can access them through the catalog, or search them directly at the EBSCOHost page at

In addition, with the help of the Library’s subject specialists, the Library will pilot test a Patron Driven Acquisitions (PDA) program.  This involves loading e-book records into the catalog, but not purchasing the title until certain usage parameters are met.

E-books are the fastest growing format in the publishing industry.  For libraries, they provide a variety of opportunities and challenges.  As the business models for e-books continue to evolve, so will the ways libraries include them in their collections.  For more information, visit the E-Book Guide at or contact Acquisitions Librarian John Sandstrom at

October 29, 2013 Categories: News NMSU Library Collects E-Books