One of the best things about Mondays in the Library is the new book display. Each Monday some of the new printed books we have bought, catalogued and labelled in the last month are put on the shelves near the entrance of the Information Centre, Redmond Barry Reading Room, Arts and the La Trobe Reading Room.
A smorgasbord of entertainment for all. Regulars in the know scan the offerings for something new to fascinate, whether it’s a book on nuclear power or Bitcoin; the diary of an Aussie cricketer or a new travel guide to France. There could be anything – books on cuckoos or the Magna Carta, Wikileaks or a history of feasting. Someone will pick up a book while waiting for a computer, sit and read and get engrossed in the story.
Others will scan titles and collect a pile of books, abandoning – or assembling – their research for the rest of the day. They might pick up a title and put it back, move on and come back next week hunting for the elusive book on Coca-Cola whose title they can’t remember, but they’d know the cover if they saw it. Because although you apparently can’t judge a book by its cover, the cover can entice you into picking up the book, take a chance on something and discover what it’s really all about. A treat for all!
But with the library now buying more ebooks, this interactive display has been missing a piece: we have not been able to see what is new among the thousands of ebooks we buy. The ebooks are all catalogued and available, but you need to search for books on your topic or search the ebooks eresources page. The element of chance and serendipity is missing when you have to go looking for something in particular.
Now we have ebookshelf, our virtual display shelf of new ebooks you can browse not just in the Library but from home. Unlike our print books, you can read online or download any of them for up to 7 days, once you are a registered Victorian member. We will update the ebookshelf regularly with the latest books on everything from Chaucer to breadmaking, Dandyism to children’s film.