W.Va. DNR adding educational e-books to website
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Information about West Virginia's bears, coyotes, snakes, eagles, salamanders, neo-tropical birds, plants, frogs, and even tiger beetles is now no farther away than the click of a computer mouse.
Division of Natural Resources officials have converted several of their educational booklets and pamphlets to e-books and are making them available for online viewing or for free download.
"All of our e-books have been in print form at one time or another," said Karen McClure, who coordinated the effort. "Some of them are new, and some of them are out of print."
McClure said the first e-books posted were quiz-style books designed to help young people learn more about bears, coyotes and bobcats.
"When the folks in [the DNR's Wildlife Diversity Section] saw the quiz books on the website, they said they'd like to add some other pamphlets and booklets," she said.
In short order, e-books had been created for several non-game species.
Most of the books run eight to 20 pages in length and are displayed in a program, 3D Issue, that allows readers to turn virtual pages by clicking on arrows just outside the pages' right and left margins.
McClure said the e-books can be read online or can be downloaded to computers or mobile devices.
"The idea was to put these publications in the hands of people who might have trouble getting their hands on a hard copy," she said. "Being able to access them on smartphones and other mobile devices gives people the ability to call up a picture or description of a frog or a salamander or a snake and be able to identify what they've come across in the field. As long as they have an Internet connection, they're good to go."
One e-book on the DNR's current list won't allow folks to identify critters, but it might help them whip up a delicious meal.
"It came up here in the office that our Wild Cookin' Recipes Cookbook was out of print, so we decided to put it up alongside the others," McClure said.
The cookbook includes 21 recipes for delicacies as diverse as deer stroganoff, barbecued bear and fried frog legs.
Links to the e-books are located on the DNR's website, www.wvdnr.gov, under the Publications/Programming heading.
For computer users who might be able to view the e-books but not download them, downloadable PDF files are also available on the DNR website under the Wildlife Diversity heading and the Wildlife Diversity Program Publications subheading. All publications underlined can be downloaded as PDFs and printed on laser or ink-jet printers.
Reach John McCoy at email@example.com or 304-348-1231.