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Skills Development : Ebooks

Basic Information on Electronic Books

The Vanderbilt University Library provides its users with access to over 1,500,000 electronic books.  If a book is available in electronic format, there will be a web link at the top of the Library Catalog record.  Follow that link to access the electronic content of the book.    

Because our ebooks come from a variety of sources the methods of access will vary

  • Some of these ebooks consist of chapters which can each be downloaded directly while others will be checked out to you for a limited time. 
  • Some books are purchased directly from the publishers while other books come through the Library's subscription to a provider.
  • Some providers offer content on their own platform and some use a more universal format, such as pdf.

  How you access, use, and print this material will depend on the manner in which the owner makes it available.  This guide contains information on the individual providers and on some of the issues you might need to know about.

How to Search

How to locate ebooks:

1. Start at the Management Library Homepage. Search for a topic of interest in the search box. 

2. Filter results. Use the vertical, left tool bar to click 'available online.'

3. Filter again. Use the vertical, left tool bar to select 'books' under format.



Clearly there are many devices that can be used to read electronic books.  Besides a laptop or desktop computer, many of these books can be read on a Kindle, Nook, iPad, or even a smartphone.  Again, this will vary by provider.  In this guide we try to touch on the issues a particular device might cause with each platform.

However there are often software hoops to jump through in order to get these to load and in some cases a particular provider cannot talk to a given device.  In these cases we recommend you use your desktop computer to access these books.