How to find E books

Looking for help on how to find and access e books? Find out how to search for e books, and what options are available if we don’t have the book you need in e format.

Searching for a specific e book

To check if we have an e book look up the title in Library Search. You will find the Library Search box on the Library home page or by logging into MyGlasgow student, choosing Library account and then clicking on Library Search: find print and online resources.

You can search for the title of the book, the author of the book or both. Once you’ve done a search for the book you are looking for choose the Full text online option on the left of the screen. You can also limit to Book/EBook.

Image of how to limit to e books in Library Search

Searching for e books on a topic

You can also search for e books on the topic you are interested in – use Library Search to look for the keywords that describe your topic and then limit to Full text online. The Library has a huge collection of e books on all subject areas.

What to do if the Library doesn’t have the e book

If we don’t have the book you need as an e book there are some other options:

  • Google Books often has some of the full text of books, though normally not whole books. Click on preview to see any available full text
  • Internet Archive: you may be able to virtually borrow books from the Internet Archive. You will need to register for a free account.
  • If an institutional e book is available it may be possible for the Library to buy a copy. Contact your College Librarian to check if this is possible.

A few things to note:

  • Some books are not available for libraries to buy as e books, especially older titles. Availability will depend on the publisher and age of the book.
  • The Library can’t buy Kindle e books, as they are for personal purchase and use only. However, they are often quite cheap if you are able to buy your own copy.
  • Some books may be available to buy as e books for personal individual use – the fact that a book can be bought by an individual doesn’t always mean that university libraries can buy a copy.
  • Copyright law in the UK doesn’t permit the scanning of whole books. Copying is subject to fair dealing. The amount that we can copy for you under fair dealing is not defined in legislation but as a rule of thumb is no more than one chapter.

Other services that can help

If you have tried the options above see Covid 19 Library updates and Library remote for information about other services that may help.

See the Library’s guide on using e books for further help and information on using e books.

If you experience any problems using an e book that that Library has access to you can email for help.  

Categories: Library


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