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Using eBooks: Home

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Learning Outcome/Goal

The Library provides Fairfield students with access to close to 1 million eBooks that speak to all your research needs, regardless of subject, made accessible through several platforms which each have their own designs and features. This guide will introduce you to some of the most common platforms and provide you with some pro-tips on the best ways to use eBooks in your research.

What you need to know about using eBooks

eBooks are a prominent feature of the modern research process and that fact is reflected in the scope of our collection, which boasts over 900,000 titles and counting. Most of these eBooks are provided by three major vendors: ProQuest, EBSCO, and Springer and each have their own unique design and functionality. If you have already found an eBook and are looking at this guide for information on how to use the book, look at the top of the reader page for information on which database the eBook is hosted in and click on the name below. If the eBook isn't provided by any of the databases listed, use the chat feature on the left to ask-a-librarian.

ProQuest     EBSCO     Springer

Tips from the Librarians

  • Use the search feature built into the reader to look for the most relevant keywords in your research.
  • Download chapters instead of 'checking out' the entire book whenever possible.
  • Instead of downloading an entire e-book, try and read the e-book online as much as possible. To download and read offline you will often have to download an e-book reader in addition to downloading the e-book itself. Reading online is much simpler if possible.
  • If you have the e-book open online for an extended period of time you will be asked to create a loan for the e-book. If you would like to continue reading the e-book, approve the online loan. All e-book loans are returned automatically.
  • The citation generators built into the reader are useful, but not always accurate. For assistance citing an e-book please consult our Citation Guides or Ask-a-Librarian.

Searching for eBooks

To look for eBooks in our catalog, follow these simple instructions:

1. In the All-Search on the Library homepage, click on Books & Media and type in your search keywords


2. Once your search results populate, refine the search to only see the eBooks by selecting the Available Online option on the left hand side. Look for the same phrasing on the results to see which results are eBooks.


To use an eBook hosted in the ProQuest database, follow these instructions:

After clicking on the link to the database from the Library results page, you will be directed to the eBook's Detail Page. Select the Read Online option to browse the book's contents. You can opt to download the entire book, but we recommend using the built in reader and to search through the book to make sure it is relevant to your research before downloading. Keep in mind, the database will often set a limit on how many pages you can download.


You can also scroll down on this detail page to quickly see the contents and jump to specific chapters.

Once you are in the Read Online view, you can scroll through the content on the left side of the screen and click directly on the chapter title.

Or, you can click on the Search Within Book tool to look for the keywords relevant to your research.

A bar will appear next to each chapter that reflects how frequently your search is found within that text.


Click on the arrow to the left of the chapter title to view the specific pages that the search keywords appear on

For more tips on how to use ProQuest eBooks, please watch this short tutorial video provided by ProQuest:

For more instructional videos on Proquest Ebook Central e-books please visit their YouTube Channel playlist.


If the eBook you want to use is hosted by EBSCO, follow these useful tips on how to best utilize the book for your research:

To download a chapter, click the icon next to the chapter that you wish to save:


Please note that the databases that host our eBooks sometimes set a limit on how many pages you can download.

To keyword search the full-text, click on Search Within in the top left


To view the results, simply click on the page number listed and you'll jump right to it



For more tips on how to use EBSCO eBooks, please watch this short tutorial video provided by EBSCO:

For more instructional videos on EBSCO e-books please visit their YouTube Channel playlist.


If the eBook that you found in our catalog has a link to Springer eBooks, follow these simple instructions to learn how to search, read, and download the book.

Once you open the link to Springer, you will immediately see a few options to download the book. You can also read the full text right in your browser by clicking on the chapter title.

Once you select a chapter, you can read the full text right in your browser. A hyperlinked table of contents is on the right hand side of the page for your convenience.

Pro-tip* A great benefit of using eBooks is the ability to quickly check the references used in the text. In most Springer eBooks, the in-text citation contains a hyperlinked year. If you click on that, you will see the full citation, which you can copy and paste into the search box on our Library Homepage, or you can click the Google Scholar link that is provided in the popup citation box.

From this reader page, you can also get a citation to export to RefWorks or Zotero. Click the Cite Chapter box in the menu on the right side of the screen to get the drop down list of export files. 

Pro-tip* You can also directly search the text for your keywords and phrases on the eBook's homepage. This could save you valuable research time. On the eBook's homepage, you will see a Search within book box. Enter your keywords and click the magnifying glass.

You'll see every instance in which the keywords or phrases are used and can jump right to where they are in the text by clicking View Chapter.

For more tips on how to use Springer eBooks, please watch this short tutorial video provided by Springer: