Library Notes: Ebook Central offers thousands of options

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 17, 2022

By David Lamanno
Rowan Public Library

One of the roles I fulfill as a reference librarian at RPL is I select for acquisition digital audiobooks for our collection. I appreciate playing a part in 21st century online library connectivity. It certainly has its advantages and Rowan Public Library cardholders enjoy such benefits as 24-hour availability and automatic returns. Our patrons have access to an astonishing number of eBooks and eAudiobooks. At RPL, most of these are retrieved through the North Carolina Digital Library. But let’s not forget about other “portals” through which digital materials can be found. One such database is Ebook Central.

A student recently asked me if we had a certain book available for check out. I could tell by the title it was a textbook concentrated on a narrow topic and not something typically found on the shelf of a public library. Ebook Central to the rescue! Ebook Central, which can be accessed through the library’s website via the NC Live tab, is a collection of multi-disciplinary eBooks that encompasses subject areas like school and studying, career development, art and leisure and practical life skills. You’ll discover credible content from scholarly sources, including university presses and other top publishers such as Bloomsbury, Cengage Learning, Chicago Review Press and many more. Ebook Central touts its intuitive search and user-centered design so that titles can be found and evaluated with ease.

Because we are operating in the digital realm, each work accessed in Ebook Central is so much more than words on a screen. This is evident as soon as you click on a chosen title. A wide variety of options present themselves including the ability to download the whole book to your device, a “search within book” function, and hyperlinks to other similar eBooks. Ebook Central can even generate a citation for your all-important reference page, a function every student will appreciate. Another excellent feature is individual chapters can be accessed and downloaded. This is helpful if your topic at hand is only covered at the chapter level verses a whole book. Once a user starts accessing pages within a book, they can highlight important passages as well as make annotations to them. For those who are visual learners, Ebook Central has thoughtfully included video tutorials to help users take advantage of these and many other elements offered.

As for the student mentioned earlier, after a few clicks, I was able to locate a copy of the requested textbook. Within minutes, the young scholar had downloaded the first assigned chapter to their device and as an added bonus was delighted to have saved on the cost of an expensive textbook!

More information about Ebook Central and other online resources can be found by visiting or If you have questions about these resources, call Rowan Public Library’s Information Desk at 704-216-8228.

David Lamanno is reference librarian at Rowan Public Library.

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