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E-Books at ODU Libraries

Electronic Books at ODU Libraries

ODU Libraries provide a growing number of e-books for our users. In general, when a book order is made, we will purchase the electronic edition (if available) rather than print.

A large number of our e-books come from two providers: EBL and Ebrary. These providers enable the Libraries to get e-books from many different publishers. We also buy e-books in collections from single publishers. We explain how to use e-books from our many providers in this guide.

You may also consider browsing through some of the general or subject-specific collections listed in this guide.

  • Not all books are available in e-book format.  
  • Off-campus, our e-books are restricted to registered ODU faculty, staff, and students.
  • Most library e-book collections are presented in formats that are intended for viewing in a browser on a computer (as opposed to an e-book reader). 

Free E-books Available During the COVID-19 Crisis

  • Bloomsbury Digital Resourcesscholarly books from Bloomsbury’s award-winning Academic division. Spanning the arts, humanities and social sciences. Available through the end of May 2020.
  • Harvard Business Review E-Books: Available until May 30. Access to complete catalog of Harvard Business Review e-books.  With over 600 e-books that include 400+ monographs, newly published e-books, seminal works, and 150+ article compilations of the HBR Classics series.
  • JSTOR:  JSTOR is adding more than 20,000 books. "JSTOR and our participating publishers are making an expanded set of content freely available to our participating institutions where students have been displaced due to COVID-19."  
  • MIT Press Direct Ebooks : Available until May 31. Access to more than 2,500 eBooks on the MIT Press Direct platform. Subject collections available include economics; environmental science; philosophy; and science, technology, and society.
  • Ohio State University Press, The Knowledge Bank: All Ohio State University Press monographs, and the linguistics textbook language files, will be open and free to use through the Ohio State University Libraries’ Institutional Repository, The Knowledge Bank.

  • Project Euclid: Extended access to most Project Euclid mathematics ebooks.
  • Project MUSE: Project MUSE is making scholarly content temporarily available for free. Among the publishers currently opting to make content free are Johns Hopkins University Press (all books and journals), Ohio State University Press (all books and journals), University of Nebraska Press (all books and journals), University of North Carolina Press (all books), Temple University Press (all books), and Vanderbilt University Press (selected books). List of publishers.
  • Proquest Ebook Central: Available through mid-June. Libraries impacted by COVID-19 will get unlimited access to all owned titles from certain publishers. All licenses – including single-user and three-user models – will automatically convert to unlimited access. The unlimited access also applies to additional titles purchased through mid-June. Participating Publishers.
  • SAGE Knowledge Books
  • University of Michigan Press Ebook Collection (UMP EBC): Available through April. Access restrictions are removed for all 1,150+ titles in the UMP EBC. Contains the Press’s scholarly output published since 2012 as well as new books and older titles as they are digitized. Note they will be free-to-read, not to download, during this time

to many of their online resources. Most of these will only be available through May or June. Be sure to also consult our Monarch OneSearch catalog for materials the Libraries already have.


Currently, many students do not have access to their purchased course materials. Many vendors are offering free online access to textbooks with registration. Please note that the Libraries are not able to facilitate setting up access to these titles for instructors or students. Each user needs to go through the process individually.  (See also the E-Books tab.)

  • VitalSource: Beginning March 16 through May 25, 2020, access to an expansive catalog of eTexts will be available for free to students at semester-calendar institutions who have been impacted by recent campus closures. Students simply log in to the VitalSource Bookshelf app using their school email address and can then view course materials from participating publishers via VitalSource’s Explore capabilities within Bookshelf. To view a list of publishers and resellers who are supporting this effort, visit Students who need assistance accessing free eTexts can visit
  • RedShelf: In collaboration with the academic publishing community, RedShelf is providing students with free access to their learning materials. RedShelf is providing students no-cost access to digital textbooks for the rest of the semester. Each student may access up to seven free eBooks, and access will run through May 25th, 2020.
  • Cengage: For US colleges experiencing unplanned, mid-semester impacts due to COVID-19, Cengage is offering students free access to all our digital platforms and 14,000 ebooks through Cengage Unlimited, for the remainder of this semester. Faculty can visit Students can visit‚Äč
  • ScienceDirect (Elsevier) Textbooks: Available through mid-June. The 256 textbooks currently on ScienceDirect will be automatically entitled to all active ScienceDirect customers for a period of 90 days. Title List.
  • Springer Nature Textbooks:  400 textbooks available through Springer Nature through at least the end of July.  More info.