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This guide provides an overview of some of the more common ebook sites offered by the OWU Libraries and how to access them.


A *select* number of textbooks are available as ebooks on our database platforms.

Please note the following: 

  • We do *not* have ebook versions available for all course texts.
  • Some of the ebooks allow only one or three users at a time. 
  • Limits on access and availability are set by publishers, not the library or university.

Have more questions about e-textbooks available from the library? Contact us!

Purchasing Course Ebooks

Students can buy physical and digital textbooks via the OWU Campus Store

Have questions about bookstore purchases? Email or call 740-368-3396. 

Sharing Course Ebooks

Some ebook versions of textbooks are available for rent and/or purchase via Amazon, directly from the publisher, or on platforms like VitalSource or RedShelf. This prompts some obvious questions: 


Why can't the library buy the ebook off Amazon, etc., and share the link?

Platforms like Amazon and VitalSource require individual accounts to identify buyers and users, so that only that account can access that purchased title. We can't provide a link to the whole university that would only work for one person.


But Amazon has family sharing!

Yes, Amazon allows Prime members to create a household/family library and the ability to share purchased content within that group. However, that group is limited to 2 adults and 4 children, and not all titles are not enabled for lending. In fact, most academic textbooks and bestsellers are *not* available for lending.

You can check and see if a title can be lent in your household group by looking at a title's Product Details section on their Amazon page: 

amazon product details lending enabled


Why are some titles available for the library to buy as ebooks and some aren't?

Ebook availability and access is determined by the book's publisher. They get to choose where it's sold and how it can be accessed. Within those parameters and those of our budget, the Library makes available as many titles as it can to as many people as it can.

Other Sources

Students should also check the ebook collections of their local public libraries. While most public libraries don't hold academic textbooks, they might have other titles on your class reading lists available for ebook checkout.