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Below are responses I received regarding Gale's ebooks.  Will probably
purchase a few as the teachers who saw them were very impressed.  I would
anticipate that any technical problems with be overcome with time.

Thank you to those who responded with their experiences.

Bob Koreis
Federal Way High School
Federal Way, WA

I purchased five so far.
History of Modern Asia, History behind the headlines, Science in Dispute,
Gale Encyclopedia of Science and Business Leader Profiles for Students.
As with anything, getting the teachers aware of them and getting the time
work with classes specifically on these will tell if they are really worth
it.  Yet with our students being sooooooo computer focused, I really like
the format.  Once loaded into your system, it works like any search engine
and topic is searched for through all of the e-books you have.  Just this
year Gale has added so many more of their titles.
The devil side of my conscience wonders how Google's loading of university
library's books will play into the future of these e-books.  Are they
a good investment?  Live and learn.
I have several.  I started out with books that I already have in print -
because they were running  a special deal.  I also have 2 additional
titles that I did not own before that I paid full price for.  As it has
worked out - all but one title is on either science, health or mental
health/psychology issues.  We do a lot of research on those topics.  So
far I like it.  I need to spend more time promoting it with the kids.
But I think I will be able to build the use - especially as I purchase
more of them.

I would like to see Gale allow purchasers to design thier own interface
page.  For instance - I would like to see a really eye-catching icon for
it.  And then I would like to be able to have it go to a page that lists
all the titles we own on the bottom of the page and has a search box on
the top. I am toying with different things that I can do to put the link
out in front of the kids.

I really do like it.  It is just the problem that we have with the
research databases.  That user name and password becomes such a barrier
to the gooleholic generation.  I see myself reducing the size of the
reference section as I add more of these.
I purchased several Gale ebooks this year for our science collection.  We
like them because they are accessed through the same interface as our
online databases from Gale.  Students like using them from anywhere.  They
are particularly good for science because they are updated as new editions
are published.  Best of all, hundreds of students can access the same
resource at the same time!  You know how teachers always assign one topic
to multiple classes.
Gale also had some really good specials when I purchased my ebooks, so
maybe you can get a deal.  The only down side so far has been my
responsibility to promote their use.  If ebooks are new to librarians, you
can imagine the skepticism with which they are greeted by teachers!
I have 4 sets of reference books, and I am loving them!  I am in a
junior high.  I got the American Decades, the Health series, sick etc,
Bell-botttoms..., and the Costume Culture series.  When we did a big
unit on the 1930's the one volume of the American Decades was just not
enough.  the kids were so amazed that they could have the book in their
hands, and then pull up the same article on line and print.  We have a
link on the intranet page, and also my internet page, so kids can access
them at home.  So far the technology has been seamless and is working
fine.  I would recommend them as opposed to the ebooks you can "check
out" to only one student.  These can be used by as many as needs them.
We subscribe to several. The most used and one I'd highly recommend if
your teachers assign research on people is the Encyclopedia of World
Biography. We have a set in the library that is heavily used, but the
online sourch is great for computer use in the classrooms or with mobile
labs. Here is the list of eBook we currently subscribe to:

Encyclopedia of World Biography 2 ed., 23v, 1998
Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol, and Addictive Behavior 2nd ed., 4v, 2001
Gale Encyclopedia of Genetic Disorders 2v, 2002
Animal Sciences 4v, 2002
Plant Sciences 4v, 2001

The drug and genetic disorder sets are for our health classes and family
studies teachers. The animal and plant science sources are for our
agriculture/horticulture teacher and science. My biggest complaint is that
these Ebooks are hard to get to, requiring several clicks from our home
page with username and password required.
I personally love them; they are a wonderful addition to our databases.
I have been introducing Gale e-books into a school I am consulting with.
I have a little concrete experience.  what would you like to know?  The
major plus is that multiple students can search a resource at the same
time.   Our first experience was in connection with a Harlem Renaissance
unit focusing on biographical content.  While we had additional resources,
being able to use the UXL title as a starting point was beneficial.  We
are now doing an activity related to counter culture movements of the 60's
in america.  We have two e-books for this, the decade volume on the 60's
and a book titled Sixties in America.  I do not have any specific
information related to this project at the moment.
Not being on staff it is difficult to support use of the new resources we
have provided.  Interviews are underway to insure the hiring of a
qualified/skilled media specialist for fall.  With someone there on a
daily basis pushing and supporting their use will go a long way toward
ensuring good return on investment and learning outcomes.
I have not used the Gale books, but we purchased forty three titles from
netlibrary about three years ago. I like them, but have a hard time
getting the teachers to utilize them. The kids are better about doing it,
but without the teachers pushing them, they do not get used as much as
they should. All of outd run on the internet.

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