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."