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Research Step 3: Find (Search Strategies)

Search for books and/or articles using the library resources

Searching for E-Books

The Library Catalogue, OneSearch, is the primary portal to access e-books.

For example 1984 by George Orwell.  If you were to search for 1984, from there on the left-hand "Filter my results" section select the following:

  • Limit to Full-Text Online
  • Resource Type - Books

This will retrieve all e-books with 1984 in the title.

If you were to choose the first item on the list and then select the "Available Online" link which will take you to the Full record as seen below:

Then under View Online - Try a Link Below! - Select from one of the options. This will take you to our Proxy (if you are off-campus) where you will need to sign in with your For more information, please review the Remote Access FAQ.

Use the Advanced Search Option in OneSearch to retrieve e-books. Limit your search to Title, Author, Material Type, Subject, and Publication Date if known. Example, Emma, Jane Austen, Books.

Once you do so, select SEARCH. The can then be further filtered by using the Filter My Results feature on the left-hand pane and selecting Full-Text Online

  • This will only retrieve e-books


Should you have any questions, please complete the Electronic Resources Access Form.

A-Z Database List provides a list of all of our major e-book collections. Once on the A-Z Database List, toggle to Database Types - E-Books. You may select the e-book collection of your choice. You will be taken to our Proxy page (if you are off-campus) where you will need to sign in with your For more information, please review the Remote Access FAQ. Should you have any questions, please complete the Electronic Resources Access Form.

Note: You cannot search for individual e-book titles (for example: Pride and Prejudice) on the A-Z Database List. Try OneSearch for individual title retrieval.

  • Go to Google Books.
  • Search for the title, author, ISBN, or keywords.
  • To search with filters, use an Advanced Search
  • Click a title to read or download
Google Book Search

E-Book Collections by Discipline

E-Book Settings

The QC Libraries E-Book collections include titles that are licensed by both CUNY and Queens College. You may see notes in the record indicating Access: Unlimited Users and so on. These notes let you know how many users can access the content at a given time.

OneSearch Notes

Public Note Field May Include:

  • Access (unlimited users, unlimited users, drm-free, x concurrent uses (non-linear), x concurrent users)
  • Endowment Acknowledgement


  • Non-Linear Access Model:
    • Supports concurrent access
    • Annual loan amounts to 325 uses
    • Loans are calculated in days
      • If 3 patrons borrows a title for 7 days then 21 days will be subtracted from the total amount
    • The library is notified when loan amounts are almost depleted for the year and can purchase additional uses. The library cannot exceed 325 uses per year.

  • 1 User Access Model:
    • Only 1 person can access the e-book at a time
    • Users are only allowed to read online
    • Download is not available in an effort to allow users to access the title

  • 3 Users Access Model:
    • Access is restricted to 3 concurrent users
    • Online access is preserved for 1 user
    • 2 users are allowed to download
    • If a library owns 3 copies for 3 users access model then the library has access to 9 concurrent users to that title

  • Unlimited Users Access Model:
    • Any number of users can access the title at a given time


  • What is a session? A session would be from a particular device.
  • What is meant by checked out?

a. Read online is considered checked out.

b. The check out expires after 30 minutes of inactivity (this matches with the CUNY SSO)

c. The check out period would match what we set up online

d. If reading multiple items online, they expire per order opened

e. More information, please visit EBSCO FAQ.

What is considered a use? (These are all considered as Concurrent Access Model - CAM uses)

  1. Browsing the eBook for up to 10 minutes
  2. Turning up to 10 pages in the eBook
  3. Downloading any portion of the eBook
  4. Emailing any portion of the eBook
  5. Printing any portion of the eBook

Concurrent is the same as non-linear. You may review EBSCO's FAQ. Concurrent would have 325 or other periods of use.There are some scenarios on the link above.  There are many examples of how concurrent use could apply.  If a class of 30 students were all looking at the same ebook on their computer during class for one hour that would be 30 uses. If a student used a Concurrent ebook for 7 days, that would be 7 uses.


1. Non-Linear Reader Days: 1 day

2. Non-Linear Download Days: 1 day

3. Unlimited Download Days for both Subscribed and Owned: 1,7,14,21 days

4. 3-User Download Days: 1 day

  • Preserves 1 user reader access for 3-Users

5. 1-User: No downloads

  • Preserves reader access

6. DRM-Free: No restrictions on printing and downloading


1. Maximum Simultaneous Checkouts: 50 items

2. Check-out duration for non-concurrent titles: 2 days

3. Concurrent offline checkout: 2 days

4. No Holds

5. Concurrent Uses: 20 - trigger alert

6. DRM-Free: No restrictions on printing and downloading

E-Books Tips & Tricks

Please follow the below steps to clear cache by browser type:

a. Chrome:

1. Go to the three-dot menu () at the upper-right of Chrome to select Settings > Advanced > Privacy and security > Clear browsing data

2. or History > History > Clear browsing data or More tools > Clear browsing data.

3. Or type "chrome://settings/clearBrowserData" in the omnibar without the quotation marks.

b. Firefox:

1. Go to the hamburger menu () and section Options > Privacy & Security.

2. Scroll down to get to History. Set Firefox to remember, to never remember, or get some custom settings like remember history, but not cookies, or whatever.

3. Select the Clear History button. Click it to pick a time range to clear (1, 2, 4, or 24 hours—or everything), and what data to dump (history, logins, forms/search, cookies, and cache).

c. Safari:

1. Clear History in the History menu. Then in the pop-up, pick a timeframe for how far back you want to erase

2. Or You can instead click History > Show History to get a pop-up displaying every site you've visited, then take out sites individually, without losing the cookies and cache.

For more information, please review the following PCMag article.


icon of a computerComputer users

To download e-books from EBSCO and ebrary to a computer, you will need to use Adobe Digital Editions (ADE). All library computers have Adobe Digital Editions pre-installed. To install a version to your personal computer, see the link below.

Mobile users

In order to transfer most e-books to a mobile device, you will need an app. This app -- Bluefire Reader -- is similar to how the Kindle works, but it's specifically for e-books provided by the library. Bluefire also supports PDFs -- this means you can import any saved PDFs (such as journal articles) into Bluefire Reader.

  • To set-up Adobe Digital Editions & Bluefire Reader, you will need an Adobe ID. See the links below.

screenshotE-books can be read in a variety of ways -- on a computer, on a mobile device, and some can be printed, too.

Use the directions below to learn how to download an e-book directly to a mobile device, and how to transfer an e-book download from a computer to a mobile device.

After selecting "Download", you will be prompted to open the download in a program, generally iBooks (iOS) or Bluefire Reader​. Once selected, the download will be automatically transferred to the app.

screenshot 2

Note: You must have Bluefire Reader authenticated with your Adobe ID, but you will only have to complete this step once! Bluefire Reader will also keep track of the time left on your loan, if applicable.

To transfer an e-book to a mobile device, open Adobe Digital Editions on your laptop or PC and plug in your device. Adobe Digital Editions will show your eReader under "Bookshelves" in the toolbar the left.

  • Click on the title of the e-book you downloaded and drag & drop it into the eReader icon.
  • Check your device to make sure the book transferred.