Volume 3, Number 2 - September 11, 2012

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Karla Barrios


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E-Books Available For Free To MDC Students

By Karla Barrios
maria.barrios011@mymdc.net

Miami Dade College students now have access to a library of e-books—at no cost—using their iPads.

Since spring 2012, more than 50,000 e-books are available for download on the iPad from the MDC library website. The library does not provide iPads for students to use.

“Instead of checking out six books, students will be able to carry them all in the reader,” Wolfson Campus librarian Marta Frydman said.

Frydman hopes e-books will also eventually be available through the MDC library website for devices such as the Kindle, Nook, and other e-readers. Using the service, e-books can only be downloaded on an iPad through an application called “Blue Fire” that connects directly to the online college database.

Students can access the database by logging into the electronic library catalog on the library website www.mdc.edu/main/library, then they must search for the book or file they want and click download. An MDC ID number and a four-digit pin are necessary to log into the database.

Once a book has been downloaded onto the device, the student has a week before it expires.

Besides books, audio files, music, PDFs and electronic journals can also be downloaded from the site to the iPad.

The “Blue Fire” application allows students to copy and paste text for research papers and helps with citation.

Textbooks are currently unavailable for download.

“The accessibility the e-books provide is great,” said Dania Soriano, assistant librarian at the Wolfson Campus. “You can read books and hear them. It is really nice for the students.”

Databases such as the ABC Cleo, Epsco and the Earth and Environmental Science collections have proved to help students in subjects such as English and history.

“A lot of our students rely on the digital collection for research,” said Theo Karantsalis, Associate Director of Learning Resources at the Meek Center, where students in ENC1102 have been using the online research guide for help with essays.

The e-books are available for students faculty and staff at all eight MDC campuses.

“We have something for everybody in this database world,” Karantsalis said.


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