An Amazon Kindle, bottom, and a Kindle Fire are show.
An Amazon Kindle, bottom, and a Kindle Fire are show. (AP FILE PHOTO, Carroll County Times)

The availability of electronic books and textbooks is on the rise in different institutions around Carroll County.
McDaniel and Carroll Community colleges have already made e-books and e-textbooks available for students. Carroll Christian and Carroll County Public Schools are putting measures in place to increase electronic learning.
Frequently offering the advantage of lower cost and less bulk or weight to carry around, some people are opting to use electronic books and textbooks over traditional print books. Studies show that American adults who have read an e-book increased from 17 percent in December 2011 to 21 percent in February 2012.
Depending on the publisher, database or other method used to gain access to e-books, they can be made available in a variety of formats for different devices, including tablets, e-readers such as Nooks or Kindles, PC or Mac laptops and desktops and smartphones.
E-books can be the electronic version of printed books, but some e-books now exist without the print equivalent. Some books are making the switch slowly by having a print book with a digital component.

Carroll Community College
At Carroll Community, students can find certain e-textbooks at the campus bookstore and find thousands of e-books at their disposal through the library, according to Alan Bogage, Senior Director of Library, Media and Distance Services at Carroll Community College.
Students can buy or rent the e-textbooks from the bookstore. If rented, a person's access to the textbook goes away after a certain amount of time.
E-textbook offerings are seen across disciplines at Carroll, including accounting, chemistry, economics, math courses, marketing, music appreciation and history, for example.
"There's a lot of different options inside the e-book market," he said. "We do offer e-books in almost all subjects.
About two years ago, Carroll Community College's bookstore realized it needed to start offering e-textbooks because of the growing interest nationally. And while numbers of users are growing at Carroll, use is still low across all subjects because students and professors still seem to prefer print textbooks, Bogage said.
In the library at Carroll, e-books have been offered much longer - for about a decade, he said. The library started off with mostly reference e-books, such as encyclopedias, but now they offer more than 77,000 e-books from an online collection.
The library can also purchase individual e-book titles that may be requested by professors.
The library has four or five Kindles that are preloaded with e-books used in some college classes. Students can check out those Kindles from the library.
Bringing in e-books has dramatically increased the library's book inventory for a relatively low cost. The library only has about 45,000 print books, Bogage said.
E-books have also changed the job of a librarian, since now they have to know what's available in e-book format and how to access e-books.
The use of e-books in the library, including reference e-books for research, is much more common than students buying or renting e-textbooks, Bogage said. But he doesn't think that will always be the case.
"I think it's going to continue to grow, and in terms of the library, continue to be a part of our collection of resources," he said.
To access the library e-books, users have to be students or faculty members at the college because of the license bought with the database Carroll uses, Bogage said.
"We buy it based on the number of students that enroll," he said. "We can't give access to everyone in Carroll County."


McDaniel College
Much like at Carroll Community, a very small percentage of students buy or rent e-textbooks from the college bookstore, according to Vickie Carlson, assistant manager at McDaniel's bookstore.
It's most common for students to rent novels, which then expire at the end of the semester, and other English books for classes, but it's less common for students to buy books for subjects such as science or math, she said.
"Those tend to be difficult to go back and forth in while on a computer," Carlson said.
The e-textbooks and e-books offered through the bookstore are not the same ones as people get on a Kindle or Nook, she said. They are downloaded on onto a laptop or desktop and publishers have difference allowances on how many pages users can print out.
"They're still in the book handling stage," Carlson said of students.
One of the main reasons some students get e-textbooks is because of the lower price. Generally the price is 25 to 45 percent less than a new copy of a printed book, Carlson said.
But e-textbooks are also harder to return if students decide they don't like them. And not all classes have e-textbooks available and not all professors will allow their students to get them, Carlson said.
"I think 10 years down the road, it might be a lot different," she said.
Hoover library at McDaniel went from having only 4,000 e-books being available for student use to more than 80,000 e-books after a purchase this summer, according to Director of Hoover Library Jessame Ferguson
The library got the Ebrary Academic Complete collection that will be used by students starting in the fall semester. It took awhile for the college to find the content they were looking for in a package deal, and for a long time many publishers weren't making their resources available through an electronic medium.
"We've been really cautious about purchasing e-books for a number of reasons," she said.
The 80,000 books will offer the campus quality content in a broad range of subjects, Ferguson said. Students will access the books online through their interface and download portions for temporary use.
Users can create accounts and save their notes and bookmarks, making it easier for them to go back to the e-books later, Ferguson said. And McDaniel students, even those at the Budapest campus, can gain access to the e-books.
The Ebrary system will take care of people's academic needs, but the library doesn't plan on purchasing popular fiction or books such as that, Ferguson said.
"The public libraries have a good amount of online books and popular reading materials," she said.

Carroll Christian Schools and Carroll County Public Schools
Carroll Christian Schools decided to buy iPads for the use of all ninth- through 12th-grade students that will be issued like textbooks, according to School Administrator Matthew Reisberg.
"That's the way education is going," he said. "Our goal is to have our students on the cutting edge and as well prepared for college as they can be."
Using the devices can add a lot to the classroom. The long-term plan is to add e-books to be used on the devices as current texts become outdated, he said.
E-books will give more dimensions to learning, according to Reisberg. If a teacher wanted to go over something in the book, that teacher can go into the e-book, highlight important parts and write notes in the margin. Students will be automatically sent that information when they open their e-book on the iPad.
The iPads will allow for more interactive learning and discussion. The devices will be used in class for instruction and for taking notes and out of the classroom for homework, Reisberg said.
He believes the students will be very responsive to the new way of learning and will enjoy learning by using the iPad.
"If you want to reach students, you need to go where the students are," he said.
Carroll County Public Schools is in the process of installing wireless access at all schools, which is the first step in possibly allowing students to bring their own electronic devices to school, according to Steve Johnson, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction.
The school system has yet to work out the logistics involved with students bringing their own devices to school, or how they would address equity concerns.
The school system has applied for a grant that would allow the purchase of e-textbooks for the science curriculum in grades four through eight, Johnson said. They pursued science e-textbooks because the subject matter changes often, so it will be easier for the material to stay up to date.
The students would be able to access the e-textbook on a computer or any similar device, he said. If the grant is received, implementation could begin this coming school year, Johnson said.
"The future will be e-textbooks, so we have to start sometime," he said.