E-books in the Library

The past few years have seen a huge increase in the availability of electronic books. With readers such as the iPad and the Kindle, personal book collections have become extremely portable, and have reduced the need to visit a bookshop, or buy a large bookcase. For Libraries, ebooks mean improved access. They can be read anytime, anywhere, and (depending on the licence) can be read by more than one person at a time. There is no need to wait till the library opens, or join the waiting list for a popular title, and a recent study shows that the “humble laptop” is still the e-reader of choice. 

CPIT Library has been an online library for a long time, mainly through electronic journals and databases. Searching Library databases to find an article for an assignment, reading it online, or printing it, should be (or will become), a familiar pastime for every student.

Ebooks are not quite so familiar, but 24/7 access, the ability to keyword search, bookmark, highlight, print and copy content, make the electronic version of a required or recommended reading an attractive option. I would love to see all of our High Use Collection available online. No more 3-hour loans, or scrambling to reserve a 3-day loan ahead of your classmates! BUT… while there has been rapid growth in the popular ebook market, the availablity of  e-textbook titles is still limited. Academic textbook publishers depend on each individual student buying their own copy of textbooks. They also produce a new edition every year, limiting the re-sale value of older copies. These publishers are reluctant to provide electronic textbooks to libraries, which can then be used by several students at once, and which never wear out!

 Meanwhile CPIT Library does provide access to a range of ebooks, and just like our Databases, they all look slightly different, and behave in slightly different ways. For Business and Computing we subscribe to Safari Books Online. This collection is regularly updated with titles published in the last 5 years. N.B. The Library subscription to Safari does not allow for downloading onto a mobile device or e-reader, but it does allow for 3-5 simultaneous users.

 EBL (Ebook Corporation) provide a large selection of ebook titles spread across the whole collection. These titles can be downloaded but require Adobe Digital Editions. If you are reading an EBL book on-campus it is recommended that you do not download it but read online. Downloading  a title onto a PC on-campus restricts you to reading it on that machine. From your home computer you can download and transfer to an iPad or iPhone and read via the free Bluefire Reader app, or EBL books can be transferred to any portable ebook reader that supports Adobe Digital Editions (ADE). There’s a list of these compatible devices on the ADE website. EBL titles also allow for multiple users to be reading the same book at the same time.

Our other main ebook supplier is Ebrary. These titles can only be read online, although ipad and iphone apps are currently being developed. Ebrary titles are also restricted, because of the licence agreement, to one user at a time.

Electronic resources support students studying off-campus or through blended course delivery, but they were also very useful after the earthquakes when CPIT was closed. Next time you are looking for information in the Library, do not be put off by the view-online option, check out an ebook.

We won’t be getting rid of the print collections just yet, but ebooks take up much less space, and we don’t need to pick them up off the floor in the event of another aftershock!

Research and the Science of Chocolate

It is Research Week at CPIT, an annual opportunity to celebrate the diverse range of research activity happening around the Campus. There are a series of public lectures, and an exhibition of research posters shares the Atrium with the art exhibitions which opened on the 12th Sept.

There is a rich applied research culture at CPIT and presentation topics include the science of chocolate , the impact of the earthquake on nursing students, and research into peer instruction using tablet PC’s. Local, national and international issues are addressed by research staff  from Creative Industries, Health Humanities and Science, and Commerce.

If you are interested in the science of chocolate you might also be interested to know that 2011 is the International Year of Chemistry. At last… a chance to celebrate chemistry!

There are a range of events, competitions, and activities, including knitting the Periodic Table. There is a New Zealand website where you can learn a few things … such as…

Why asbestos is so dangerous?

How jandals are made

What makes the katipo spider poisonous ?                                                              

How Manuka honey is anti-bacterial

There is even a Chemist of the Week, and you can follow Chemistry celebrations on Facebook

So let’s celebrate Science and research. Follow up with some reading in the Library, you can start with a basic introduction to Chemistry and then learn how to knit…..so you can contribute to the periodic table.

..and finally, visit She Chocolat and savour the art behind the science, it’s good for you!

Let us help you with your study…

Are you new to study at CPIT or have you ever wanted to get better grades?


The upcoming Learning Services Study and Learning Seminars cover a range of topics that will help you get better grades, while making your study more enjoyable.  Topics include: time management; how to research using the library resources; how to write assignments; how to reference your sources; and how to successfully study for exams. There is even one on how to give good oral presentations, an old favourite! I have heard of people who are more afraid of talking in public  than they are of dying!


When I was studying I would love to have had some help, rather than slowly trying to figure out how to do these things on my own.

Seminars begin on  August 15th  and will run through until November. They are held in the library, at lunch times. Check out the timetable for details.  You don’t need to book and the seminars are free, so write them in your diary and we look forward to seeing you there.