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eBooks at UMBC - The Basics

This page provides an overview of ebooks offered by UMBC,as well as links to in depth information on ebooks, and will also point you to other ebook sources on the open Web.

UMBC User Access to eBooks - Basics

The UMBC Library purchases ebooks which are not available on the open web.

  • Access to these purchased titles is through UMBC's online catalogs.
    • You do not need to change your online catalog search strategies to find UMBC ebooks in your search results
    • You can read ebooks on public computers on the UMBC campus, however you cannot download ebooks using public computers
    • You can download ebooks only to your personal PC or laptop.
    • eBooks downloaded to computers can then be further downloaded to ereaders for easier reading.
    • Downloading ebooks to a laptop or desktop can facilitate use on ereaders and is necessary when format conversion is required to read an ebook on an ereader.
  • Restrictions by publishers limit access to these materials.
    • UMBC books are accessible by UMBC faculty, students and staff, both from on and off campus
    • in-library-only access is available for non-UMBC users
  • Other USMAI (University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions) libraries also purchase ebooks.
    • each campus purchases titles for their users only
    • UMBC users cannot borrow or access from off campus ebooks owned by another USMAI library
    • in-library-only access is usually available for non-affiliate users. Check with those libraries to determine what is allowed.

Retrieving eBooks -- when your search results include ebook titles

When you search any of the library catalogs on the Library homepage you may find ebooks in your search results. To access them follow the instructions below.

    WorldCat UMBC will
    • search UMBC titles as well as those in libraries worldwide.
    • show which libraries own an ebook title: however, please remember that ebooks have limited access and do not circulate to non-affiliated users.
    • Note: most, but not all, free, open access ebooks are found in WorldCat UMBC
    • From your search results page click on the title of the ebook which takes you to the full record
    • Click "Find It."
    • In some cases you may be able to click on the ebook full text from here, but in many cases the "Find It" page will say "Not available online". In this case, click on "Check availability in catalogusmai."
    • This takes you to the UMBC Library Catalog entry for the ebook, where you click "Find It" once more; this second "Find It" results screen will provide the URL for the ebook.
    • Click on that link to see the ebook online.
    • Note: At this time WorldCat UMBC may not take you directly to ebooks; you often must detour through the local catalog.
    UMBC Library Catalog

    Note: normally, free and open access ebooks are not found via the UMBC Library Catalog

    • From your search results page click on the title you want
    • Click on the "Find It" button to go directly to the ebook.

    Note: normally, free and open access ebooks are not found via catalogUSMAI.

    • Be sure that you have a UMBC record before clicking on the "Find It" button.
    • UMBC users do not have the right to view other campuses' ebooks so you will need to go to the owning library to view the ebook.

To limit your search to just ebooks

Using eBooks

  • UMBC ebooks are not device-dependent. They may be read on typical PC and Mac desktop computers, laptops, and a wide range of handheld devices.
  • Users do not need ebook readers for UMBC ebooks, but most ebook readers will read UMBC ebooks.
  • Normal formats for UMBC ebooks are PDF, HTML, or EPUB.
More info on ebook formats and readers
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