Skip to Main Content

Requesting Library Electronic Resources — Ebooks

Finding Ebooks @ UConn Library

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

The Library will purchase ebooks of print titles when available. The Library already provides access to hundreds of thousands of ebooks - please check the library catalog before requesting an ebook.  It can take up to 5 business days to process an ebook request. 

Submit a request to purchase.

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



What type of books may not be available electronically?

  • 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 (sometimes referred to as "course-adopted texts") and segregates these ebooks to restrictive platforms, or does not include them in bundled purchasing.
  • Popular/trade titles.  Publishers of popular books may not allow institutional subscriptions or will only allow one simultaneous user (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. 
  • 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 5 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 indicating number of simultaneous users (if applicable).

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 Educational Resources (OERs)