Dec 012010
Authors: Keeley Blakley

Colorado State University is looking to update library resources with new products like e-book readers.

The University Technology Fee Advisory Board is looking into buying some type of e-book reader for the Morgan Library including the Apple’s iPad, Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Hewlett Packard’s Slate and the Sony Reader.

The university has set aside $8,000 to purchase these e-book readers: $4,000 from student fees and $4,000 from Morgan Library funds.

A committee consisting of CSU library’s faculty, a CSU bookstore employee and Poudre River Public Library District employees is testing the products to determine which e-book reader is best.

The committee is expected to make a recommendation by January, said Patrick Burns, library vice president.

“It is pretty open-ended, in terms of what their recommendations are going to be,” Burns said.

Burns said he thinks devices like the iPad are a promising technology and the university needs to figure out what to do with them.

“I see these devices displacing laptops,” Burns said. “They are easier to use with their touchpad and cheaper.”

Kyndall Voskamp, a sophomore majoring in social work, said iPads and other e-book readers could save students money, but she would rather just read the old fashioned way.

“I like the old way of just reading a textbook,” Voskamp said. “I don’t like reading online and I don’t think it does much for me.”

Digital textbooks that can be displayed on iPads and other devices are just starting to infiltrate the textbook market. These books can offer more features than the print copies.

McGraw-Hill has 95 percent of its higher education textbooks in digital versions. The company sells the books through CourseSmart, which is an e-book retailer that sells digital books that can be viewed on a laptop, iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.

It has also launched McGraw-Hill ConnectPlus eBooks, which merge media, animation and assessments into the digital textbook format.

A company called Inkling also sells interactive textbooks for iPads.

They have made it their mission to depart from the imitation of print textbooks and work to make more interactive textbooks. The digital textbooks allow users to view videos, interactive content and quiz questions with the text.

Inkling is an application for iPad that can be downloaded from iTunes for free. Chapters can be purchased through the application.

Staff writer Keeley Blakley can be reached at

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