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Library Electronic Resources — Ebooks

Finding Ebooks @ UConn Library

The UConn Library provides full access to hundreds of thousands of ebooks through our catalog.

The best way to find ebooks is to search the Library's catalog.

  • Go to the library catalog and conduct your search.
  • Use Refine my results to choose Availability = Full Text Online and Resource Type = Book

Many library ebooks also can be searched and explored as a collection.

  • eReference Books Guide - This guide is for finding eReference books which includes dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks and other reference sources. Reference works are good sources for background information, quick facts, overview of subject, and fine tuning your topic. This is only a sample of the eReference books we have in our collection. Search the library catalog to find additional eReference books in your subject area. Refine results by Reference Entries under Resource Type.
  • Open Educational Resources (OERs) - A listing of online textbooks that any faculty member can adapt for their courses at no cost to students. We encourage faculty to use OERs to reduce costs and more direct access for students to their course materials.

Please contact the UConn Bookstore for questions about textbooks (see bottom of page).

Ordering Ebooks

The Library will order ebooks in lieu of print when available. The Library already provides access to hundreds of thousands of ebooks - please check the catalog before requesting an ebook be purchased. Most academic publishers license their ebook portfolios to institutions, meaning the library can give seamless access to ebook content, without individual logins.

Submit a request to purchase.

What type of books may not be available electronically?

  1. Textbooks. Many academic publishers do not allow full institutional access to Textbooks, see Why can't the library purchase e-textbooks? below. Each publisher has its own definition of textbooks, or "course adopted texts" and segregate these ebooks to restrictive platforms, or do not include in bundled purchasing.
  2. Popular/Trade titles.  Publishers of popular books may not allow institutional subscriptions or will only allow one simultaneous use, see below. Some of these books may be available from your public library. Purchasing one simultaneous user is an adequate alternative to accessing an assigned text. 
  3. There is no electronic version available.

How do I access my requested ebook?

  • Access to a new ebook is usually available within 3 business days of order confirmation
  • Upon request, a link to the ebook will be forwarded to you when available
  • The ebook will be available in the library's catalog within 7-10 business days of access notice

How long will I have access to my ebook?

All individual ebooks are purchased in perpetuity, and you will not lose access. On rare occasions ebook vendors may change platforms, or, if it is an older ebook purchase, links may be incorrect. It is suggested that you use the catalog permalink in your course materials, and check the links before each semester. See Stable Linking to Electronic Resources.

Why do some ebooks only allow one user at a time?

Publishers determine how their ebooks can be accessed - unlimited or a limited number of simultaneous users. In most cases, when a library purchases a book directly from the publisher (Cambridge, Wiley, Springer) or from University Press platforms (JSTOR, Project Muse, DeGruyter) unlimited access is the default. Ebooks hosted on aggregated platforms, such as ProQuest and EBSCOhost, offer all access models, depending on their contracts with the publishers. The Library will attempt to purchase unlimited or 3-user access depending on cost and availability. Faculty may also request that the library purchase unlimited access to a book, The user access information is in the catalog record and noted on the ebook platform.

Why can't the library purchase e-textbooks?

Many publishers refuse to sell electronic textbooks to academic libraries. These publishers include Pearson, Cengage, Elsevier, McGraw Hill, Oxford University Press, many publishers of popular fiction and nonfiction, and many health sciences publishers. In courses that have adopted textbooks by these publishers, students will not have any alternative access to the textbook content.

The UConn Library is working with instructors to explore and identify viable textbook alternatives, including:

  • Using an existing ebook in the relevant subject area from the library’s ebook collections or requesting that the library purchase one. Many scholarly ebooks aren’t considered textbooks and are therefore available for the library to purchase.
  • Adopting an open educational resource (OER). OERs are freely available educational materials that are openly licensed to allow for reuse and modification by instructors.
  • Scanning and posting individual book chapters or excerpts to HuskyCT, subject to copyright limitations

For assistance with OERs or alternative access, please contact your subject specialist. To request an ebook purchase, complete this form.

Thanks to the University of Guelph and Grand Valley State University for their statements on this issue.

Open Library

Public Library eBooks and eAudiobooks

Did you know that most public libraries in Connecticut have ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines that you can download and read at home? Not to mention digital movies and TV and sometimes even music! Public libraries offer fantastic resources for recreational reading, listening, and viewing online. Most public libraries are open for visitors or offering curbside pickup.

Town residents automatically qualify to get a card for their local library. Please see each library's website for details.

Not sure how to find your town's library? Explore this listing of all public libraries in Connecticut, and contact your local public library to get started!