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Last Updated: Apr 28, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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What's in this guide?

York University Libraries acquires an extensive collection of e-books made available through the library catalogue.  These collections cover a number of disciplines including the social sciences, humanities, arts, business, economics, science and technology.

York University has access to e-books from a variety of providers, and accessing e-books according to each provider can differ in terms of features, functionalities, technicalities, and restrictions.

This guide was created to help the students, staff, and faculty at York University access its growing collection of e-books and to make use of the various features and functions they offer.  Despite the minor differences across e-book providers, e-books are a valuable resource for student life!

E-books Glossary

Finding E-books

E-book Collections

Devices & Downloading

Citing E-books



What is an E-book?

According to Oxford Dictionaries:

“An electronic version of a printed book which can be read on a computer or a specifically designed handheld device.” 

(e-book. Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press, n.d. Web. 03 January 2015. <>.)

This means that e-books are like any other book, they are just available in electronic format, and as stated above, many print books acquire an e-book version.

Further, it is also important to remember that like printed books, e-books can either be scholarly or popular in nature.



Why use an E-book?

Remote access, even when the Library is closed

• Multiple use access on many titles

• Can be read on personal computers, smart phones, tablets, or eReaders

• May support accessibility needs, such as magnification (the ability to resize text) and text-to-speech functions

• Can be linked in Moodle

• No heavy books to carry

• E-books are returned automatically (it will delete itself from your device on the due date)

• Therefore no late fees!


What can you do with an E-book?

• E-books can be browsed online

• Keyword searches, highlighting text, and note-taking on the e-pages

• Download a certain number of pages to your personal computer or portable device (according to the restrictions of the provider) for offline reading

• Print a certain number of pages (according to the restrictions of the provider)


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