This is the "Ebooks Overview" page of the "Books: eBook Collections" guide.
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This guide provides an overview of the various eBook platforms we offer at the Merrill-Cazier Library. It addresses finding, navigating, and downloading books to various devices.
Last Updated: Oct 18, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
Ebooks Overview Print Page


We provide USU students, faculty, and staff with access to a vast array of eBooks. Here you will find an overview of the different collections of ebooks that we offer.  Following a brief description of the content and scope of each collection, you will see a link to a guide that will give you more in-depth information about how to navigate each collection.  These guides will cover navigating each collection's platform, downloading or printing books or portions of books where possible, and reading ebooks on mobile devices.


Leisure Reading

Need a mental vacation from studying?  OverDrive is our collection of popular fiction and non-fiction ebooks and audiobooks!

Our OverDrive collection launched with only 50 ebook titles, but now we have well over 100 titles, with new selections appearing frequently.

To read OverDrive ebooks, you will need to download free software for your computer or free apps for some of your mobile devices, as these titles cannot be read directly within your internet browser.  You can read these ebooks on your computer, Kindle, iPad, iPhone, iPod, iPod touch, Sony Reader, Nook, and more.  Each ebook can be checked out and downloaded by one person at a time for 7 or 14 days, depending on your preference.

To search for OverDrive books in Encore, select the advanced search option.  Enter 'overdrive' in the keyword field, and in the Format drop-down menu, select electronic book.  In the regular library catalog, simply enter 'overdrive' as your search term and select 'series' as your search option.

To browse the entire OverDrive collection, visit USU's OverDrive homepage.

For in-depth information on how to enjoy find and enjoy OverDrive titles on your computer or mobile device, visit the OverDrive LibGuide.


Academic Books

The Collections


Ebrary is our most widely used collection and it contains one of the largest collections.  In ebrary you can find ebooks on topics in science as well as the arts, humanities, and social sciences.  These ebooks can be viewed online in your web browswer, or they can be downloaded one chapter at a time in PDF format.  Certain books can be in downloaded in full in the EPUB file format, but you will need special free software to view this type of file.  Some of these books are available to one single user at a time, but many do not have this restriction.  For more information about searching and navigating ebrary and downloading books, visit the ebrary LibGuide.

Science ebooks

We have smaller, more specialized collections of science books called Wiley InterScience, Elsevier ScienceDirect, and SpringerLink.  The the platforms for these collections are similar, and they function in largely the same way.  For the most part, these ebooks can be downloaded one chapter at a time in PDF format, or readers can view them online in a web browser.  We also have two highly specialized engineering ebook collections called IEEE Xplore, and EngNetBase (a database of about 150 engineering handbooks).  To learn how to search, navigate, and download ebooks from these collections, visit the Science ebooks LibGuide.


Still more narrowly focused are Early English Books Online (EEBO), Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO), and American Council of Learned Societies Humanities E-Book (ACLS).  As these collections are highly specialized, scholars may wish to browse these collections, rather than simply searching for specific titles.  EEBO and ECCO are time-period specific collections, and ACLS is a small, carefully-selected collection of books on humanities topics.  For further information, view the EEBO, ECCO, and ACLS LibGuide.

Hathi Trust and Project Gutenberg

Hathi Trust and Project Gutenberg are two enormous ebook collections that are not indexed in our catalog.  This means you cannot search for titles in these collections through the library catalog; rather, you will need to visit the actual collection in order to search for books.  Hathi Trust is large-scale preservation project that includes many books that are in the public domain (published before 1922) which can be viewed full-text.  Users can also download PDFs of single pages or of the full text.  Other books in the collection are still in copyright and cannot be viewed full-text or downloaded, but users can perform a full-text search of these books (to determine whether and to what extent a topic is discussed, for example).  Several hundred books published by USU Press are included in the Hathi Trust.  View the Hathi Trust LibGuide for details about using this collection.

A few hundred Project Gutenberg ebooks are listed in our library catalog.  However, the collection includes over 38,000 ebooks, all of which are free to read and download (even if you are not a USU student or employee).  The books are digitized by volunteers, and all the works are in the public domain.  Full-text downloads are available in a variety of formats for computers and mobile devices.  For more information, visit the Project Gutenberg LibGuide.

EBSCO and Safari Books Online

Finally, we have a couple smaller collections that you may encounter when you are searching for ebooks.  These are EBSCO (formerly known as NetLibrary), Safari Books Online.  For details, please visit the EBSCO and Safari Books Online LibGuide.


Most of the books in these collections can be found by searching the library catalog.  If you want to find out if the library has a specific title in ebook form, you can perform an advanced search in Encore (from the 'Search Everything' tab on the library homepage).  In the first search box, enter the title of the book, and select 'Title' from the dropdown menu (it will be set to 'Keyword' by default).  In the dropdown menu labeled Format, select 'Electronic Book' and then click the search button.  If you simply wish to find an ebook on a certain topic, you can repeat the steps above, but replace the title with a word or words that describe your topic (i.e. 'Guatemalan literature' or 'aerospace engineering'), and change the dropdown menu to keyword or subject.

Encore title search  

Encore format search

In the regular library catalog, the procedure is similar.  In this case, you will want to limit the type to 'eBook.'

library catalog ebook type search

Once you find a book that interests you, click on the link or button to access the book online.  If you are off-campus, you will most likely be prompted to log in with your A-number and password at this time.  Here is what the access links/buttons will look like in Encore and the catalog (the wording of the Encore links may vary depending on the collection to which the ebook belongs):

Encore ebook access link   

Library catalog ebook access button

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