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E-book Collections

Use this guide to learn more about the e-book collections at the library, and get tips & tricks on ways to use e-books to help your research.

About this guide

This guide contains all the information you'll need to get started using e-books for your coursework and research.

  • see Find e-books to learn about the types of e-books available and how to find them
  • see e-book Collections by Discipline to identify collections appropriate for your coursework or major
  • Open Access e-books gives a run-down on freely available e-books on the Web (handy information for after you graduate!)
  • see Use e-books (tips & ticks) to learn how to transfer your e-books to a mobile device
  • consult Cite e-books to learn ways to quickly and easily cite e-book sources
  • and Accessibility provides information for users to optimize e-book platforms for screen-readers (like JAWS).

Types of Access Models

In General there are three (3) different models of access for E-books.

1) Unlimited access: means there are no limits on the simultaneous or yearly uses on this title.

2) XXX concurrent uses: this title can be used up to X number of times per year.  It can be downloaded for 7 Days if this is available for the title.

3) X Simultaneous Users: this title can be used by up to X number of users at a time.  It can be downloaded for 2 days at a time if this is available for the title.

NOTE: check the Access Options" in the "Find E-books" tab for more information.


Get e-books

Like e-books? Borrow them with an activated QCard library barcode. To activate, visit the Borrowing Desk and present your QCard. Then enjoy your e-book on the beach, or anywhere!

Access Problems

If you are experiencing trouble linking to an e-book through the Catalog, try going to the Platform Database that the e-book is in(normally given in the Catalog record in the Notes section)

If you are experiencing problems accessing an e-book, submit an issue via the E-Issues Reporting Form.



Please provide details such as title, platform, ISBN, the browser you are using, and any error message received.

What are e-books?

E-books are digital editions of print titles. You can download e-books and read them immediately, no matter where you are!

E-books also offer the convenience of size and portability. You can store your own personal library of e-books on your PC, Laptop or hand held device.

Decoding the CUNY Catalog

Because some e-books are shared with other CUNY libraries they can be tricky to navigate in the CUNY Catalog or OneSearch.

We know that this can be a frustrating experience!  The good news is that there are two simple ways to ensure you can recognize and access e-book content right away.

E-Book Access is Campus-Based >> 

1. For Queens College users: when you seeCUNY” or “Queens” listed under holdings in the CUNY catalog it means we have access to that e-book. Your access to e-book titles depends on which campus you belong to (so if you're associated with another campus, include that to the list, too). 

2. If you only want to find e-books that you can use when you search the catalog, limit your search in the CUNY Catalog to Queens (on the front page of the CUNY Catalog in the drop-down box). OneSearch defaults to search only Queens College, so that's another very easy way to ensure you have access!

Can I use an e-book?

If you have a research assignment & you're unsure if you can use an ebook -- talk with your professor or Ask a Librarian.

In general, e-books contain the same quality content as their print-book counterparts. If an e-book and a print book are both available, it means they contain the same content, but are being delivered in different formats.

Queens College Libraries now offer 24/7 chat reference. So feel free to inquire at anytime of the day, from anywhere!