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Electronic Books: eBook information for Faculty

eBook FAQs for Faculty

In addition to the basic information about accessing eBooks that is elsewhere in this guide, there are some additional considerations for faculty in the use of eBooks, both in coursework and in research.

How can I assign an eBook?

You can include the link to an eBook in your course page. If the book is in the library catalog, use that link. If the book is from a library database, you may be able to create a link from there - the most important consideration in making a link is that the library's proxy information ( is in front of the URL for the eBook, so that access off-campus will work properly. Some databases do this automatically. If you have any difficulty in making a link to an eBook, please contact David Brennan.

Can more than one student at a time use an eBook?

It depends on the eBook - before you assign an eBook, verify whether or not access is limited. Limitations can vary, from single-user (like a normal print book), multi-user, or unlimited. In addition, some eBooks have a limited number of "circulations" over the course of a year. These restrictions are the way that publishers attempt to make eBooks function similarly to their print counterparts.

If you want to assign an eBook that is limited, contact the library and we can see if it is available either as a multi-user or unlimited access. 

Can I use content from an eBook in a classroom presentation?

Can I use content from an eBook in a publication?

There are two parts to these questions - a) the technical aspect of copying, which can be restricted on some eBooks, and b) the proper use of materials in scholarship. It must be properly used and cited, and use in the classroom follows the same guidelines as any other source.

Use of eBook content for publication also follows similar practices to other sources - permission must be obtained from the publisher to reuse any copyright-protected content in a publication. 

The eBook I assigned or was using has disappeared. What happened? What can I do?

eBooks are not always a permanent part of either the library's catalog or of databases - some of our eBook collections are part of a subscription to a larger package of titles, and these titles do change periodically, as do titles contained within  the library's databases. 

If the eBook you were using has disappeared, you can search the Library Catalog for other eBooks on your topic.

If you need the eBook that disappeared, let us know, and we will investigate - it may be available in another collection or for individual purchase. Please make sure to allow time for us to find this out - don't wait until the week before class starts to verify that your eBook is still available!

Textbooks are very expensive for my students. Are there free eBooks I can use as the textbook for my class?

Yes - see the Open Educational Resources tab for more information on free classroom resources.

Where can I find more help in using eBooks? 
Not all publishers or vendors have help specifically for faculty use of eBooks - EBSCO is one that does.
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