The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

July 13, 2007

Book review: Library has thousands of eBooks available

Have you ever been in the middle of a project and needed a little guidance, maybe just a few pages of instruction? Ever been working on a paper for school and needed more resources but the library is closed? Daydreamed about going on a vacation and have a destination in mind, but are unsure about what you can do once you get there?

Joplin Public Library has a resource that can help in all those situations and more that is ready for you to use from anywhere you have Internet access.

NetLibrary eBooks is a collection of 6,240 books available for you to use anytime, anywhere with your library card and a password. You are required to set up your account at the library before you can use it, but this is a simple process. Just come to or call the Reference Desk (624-5465) with your library card number and you can have an account in minutes. The books are full-text and cover a wide variety of subjects including travel, management, nursing, literature, plumbing, Web site design and home buying.

You can set the language to use when you search for a book, choosing from English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Thai, with English being the default language. However, the content of the book will display in the language used for publishing. eBooks are available to browse for 15 minutes or to check it out for four hours. Once you have the book open (click on “View this eBook”) you can browse through the book page by page, use the table of contents to open a chapter, or search the eBook by word or phrase. If you find an unfamiliar word, you can look it up in the dictionary and even hear how the word is pronounced. Save notes on the book by using the “Notes” tab or you can print pages of the book. Printing or downloading the whole book is not possible, but the book is always there to use. If someone else has it checked out, you can request to be notified by e-mail when it is available.

This may sound familiar to some of you as this service debuted in 2003 when Joplin Public Library joined other libraries in the state to purchase a shared collection of books. The library has added new books to the collection each year, bringing the total number of eBooks available to 6,240.

Here are some of the new titles added to the collection:

“Frommer’s 500 Places to Take Your Kids Before They Grow Up,” by Holly Hughes: If you want to plan a vacation with children that combines fun and enrichment this is the book for you.

“NASCAR for Dummies,” by Mark Martin: Written by a driver who is a fan of the sport, the author of this book wants to “share with you all that a fan needs to know about NASCAR racing.” You’ll learn the technical side of racing, the top 10 races to attend, and get brief profiles of NASCAR’s young stars, including the area’s own Jamie McMurray.

“106 Common Mistakes Homebuyers Make (And How to Avoid Them),” by Gary W. Eldred: This book will take you from making the decision to buy to the signing of the contract.

“Crunch Point: The 21 Secrets to Succeeding When it Matters Most,” by Brian Tracy: Everyone has to deal with times of crisis both in business and in life. This is a book on how to deal with those times and how to turn around a bad situation.

“The Doomsday Book: Scenarios for the End of the World,” by Joel Levy: This book addresses five threats to the future of civilization — outlining the threat, the consequences and how likely it is to come to pass. If you worry about global warming, the next world war or a giant asteroid hitting the earth, you will want to read this book.

“Maran Illustrated Piano”: If you want to learn about playing the piano, this book takes you through how to hold your hands, scales, chords, styles of music and care of your piano.

These are just a few of the new books available to you through NetLibrary and Joplin Public Library. You can access the books by going directly to or going to the library’s Web site — — and choosing “Online Resources” on the home page and then scrolling down to “NetLibrary eBooks.”

So if you don’t have an account, call the Reference Desk to set yours up, then log on and check out an eBook.

Patty Crane is the reference librarian at Joplin Public Library.