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DOAB : Directory of Open Access Books

The primary aim of this site is to increase the discoverability of books of open access books.  It is geared to academic books, but many of the books available could be of interest to public library customers.

“Libraries, patrons, and e-books”

These are the findings of a research study conducted by the PewInterent, a project of the PewResearch Center.

From the study:  “Some 12% of Americans ages 16 and older who read e-books say they have borrowed an e-book from a library in the past year.  Most e-book borrowers say libraries are very important to them and their families and they are heavy readers in all formats, including books they bought and books lent to them. E-book borrowers say they read an average (the mean number) of 29 books in the past year, compared with 23 books for readers who do not borrow e-books from a library. Perhaps more striking, the median (midpoint) figures for books reportedly read are 20 in the past year by e-book borrowers and 12 by non-borrowers.”

It is interesting and satisfying to see that most e-book borrowers say that libraries are very important to them and their families.

Open Library – 1,000,000,000+ Free eBooks

Open Library offers access to over 1,000,000,000 free eBooks.


Need a user’s manual for a product in your home?  You might be able to find it on this site.  Diplodocs carries 1.4 million user’s guides for over 5600 brands.  Search by brand, manufacturer or model number.

The Complete Works of Charles Darwin Online

This site was begun in 2002 to put on one scholarly web site all of Charles Darwin’s published writings and unpublished papers.  The site contains over 69,000 pages of searchable text and 175,000 electronic images.

Top 10 Book Search Engines has put together their list of the Top 10 Book Search Engines on the web.  I know most of you are familiar with some or all of these, but you might find something you haven’t used before. 

By the way, does anyone have any other suggestions?  Use the comments section if you’d like to share another site.  Thanks!

Coming Tomorrow: Oldest New Testament

From the site: “Codex Sinaiticus is one of the most important books in the world. Handwritten well over 1600 years ago, the manuscript contains the Christian Bible in Greek, including the oldest complete copy of the New Testament. Its heavily corrected text is of outstanding importance for the history of the Bible and the manuscript – the oldest substantial book to survive Antiquity – is of supreme importance for the history of the book…

“The Codex Sinaiticus Project is an international collaboration to reunite the entire manuscript in digital form and make it accessible to a global audience for the first time. Drawing on the expertise of leading scholars, conservators and curators, the Project gives everyone the opportunity to connect directly with this famous manuscript.”  The site will be updated throughout the year, with completion projected for July 2009.


Although still in beta testing, Lookybook shows a great deal of promise.  This site is a place to view picture books, cover to cover.  It’s a great way for parents, librarians and others to review items to make informed choices.  With a free registration, users can rate, review and comment on individual books and receive frequent email updates when new items are added.  Users can also create their own “bookshelves” to organize and share their favorites.

Thanks to Mary Seratt for her added evaluation of the site!

50+ Sites for Book Lovers

Mashable has a list of over 50 sites that might be of interest to book lovers.  It includes sites for book reviews, book communities, publishing, book search & exchange, and others.  Might just be something you haven’t seen before in this list…

See also: 80 Online Resources for Book Lovers, which has a great list of E-Book sites.


Submitted by Kay Due (Public Services): 

According to the site, the Citizendium is “a ‘citizens’ compendium of everything,’…an open wiki project aimed at creating an enormous, free, and reliable encyclopedia. The project, started by a founder of Wikipedia, aims to improve on the Wikipedia model by adding ‘gentle expert oversight’ and requiring contributors to use their real names. We have over 4500 articles and hundreds of contributors. But we will avoid calling the Citizendium an ‘encyclopedia’ until the project’s editors feel comfortable putting their reputations behind that description.”

Kay points out that this might be a new & improved wiki encyclopedia, combining public participation with expert guidance.  Let us know what you think in the comments section.

Amazon’s Kindle

Thanks to Doris Dixon for alerting me to this!

Amazon is releasing a new e-book reader called Kindle that is getting quite a bit of press right now.  In case you get any questions about it, here are some helpful links:

The Reader’s Advisor Online – What To Say When Your Patrons Ask You About E-Books Tomorrow (And They Will)

Gizmodo – Comparing Amazon Kindle to E-Book Readers of Yesterday and Tomorrow

Computerworld Opinion – Why Amazon’s Kindle is Revolutionary

Free Online Tech Books

Thanks to Christina Barnes (Business/Sciences) for passing along this site!

This site provides links to several hundred online books that are provided by publishers and authors at no cost to the user.  Subjects covered include: Computer Science, Programming, Mathematics, and Operating Systems.

Beyond Wikipedia: 20 References You Can’t Do Without

From, this article highlights 20 good online reference sources for students.  Some are offered as Wikipedia alternatives, and others are useful for specific subject areas.  Take a look!

Online Books from offers a number of popular fiction, nonfiction, reference and poetry texts on their website for free.  Users can find quotations, presidential speeches, Shakespeare and most things in between.

The Online Books Page

From Philip Williams (Cordova):

“Hosted by the University of Pennsylvania Library, this website facilitates access to books that are freely readable over the Internet.  Currently, there are over 25,000 titles of online books available on the website and the number is ever-growing.  Books can be searched by author, title, or subject, and there is also a list of online serials that are available online.”