Books and eBooks help

In the Library search box, type in a book title, keyword or topic and click Search.

Refine your search to books or ebooks by selecting the following options:

  • Full Text Online
  • eBooks
  • Print Books

Within the search results you’ll have the option to see if there is print, electronic or both versions of the book. You'll also be able to see the status of the book and where it's located in the Library.


From the search results displayed, you'll be able to see the status of the book and where it's located in the Library.

Book Status:

Available or In Library

The items are available and you can find it using the location and shelfmark.

For example, English MA296 KRA, Library Level 9. To find this book:

  • Locate the English section on Level 9. 
  • The section runs from English A to Z.
  • Within English MA296, follow the sequence to find English MA296 KRA.

Not Available, Due or On Holdshelf

  • The items are not available. They are checked out or awaiting collection by another reader. If you need the book or item, find out how to request it.

Reference only

The item can only be used in the Library. See Printing for more information on scanning and copying.



From the search results displayed, click on the Full Text Online link beside the eBook. You will be prompted to log in if you aren't already.

Accessing eBooks

You can access eBooks both on and off campus using your username and password. Accessing the eBooks through the link on the Library website ensures that you will be authenticated properly.

  • Some eBook providers have a limit on the number of readers that can access an eBook at the same time. You may be placed in a queue or receive a message saying that the eBook has reached a concurrent user limit. You should be notified by email once you can access the title.
  • If you are asked to log in or pay for the eBook while on the eBook provider's website, look for an 'Institutional Login', 'Shibboleth' or 'Access Management Federation' log in option. This will allow you to choose the University of Glasgow as your institution and log in using your username and password. You can also try accessing the book directly through the Library search and the Full Text Online link.

Download eBooks

  • Many providers will allow you to download an eBook. Some can be downloaded and kept and others may have time limits for borrowing. Check the provider's website for information about downloading and borrowing times.
  • You may need to have provider-specific software to download an eBook. 
    • These details along with guidance around downloading eBooks are usually provided on their website.
    • The most common software is Adobe Digital Editions and Adobe Reader.

Print or copy eBooks

  • Many providers allow you to print or copy from an eBook. Some may restrict this due to copyright restrictions. The restrictions for printing or copying the eBook should be displayed on the provider's website when you access the eBook.

Reading eBooks using mobile device or e-reader

Some eBooks can be downloaded onto your device without requiring an app.

Not all eBooks can be downloaded onto an e-reader (e.g. Kindle), as eBooks would not be compatible with e-readers due to requiring specific software for downloading and reading online.

  • MosteBooks are compatible with devices, such assmartphones or tablets viaapps. The most popularapps are:
    • Adobe Reader
    • Bluefire Reader
    • VLeBooks - click Shibboleth to sign in, this should allow you to choose the University of Glasgow and enter your username and password for access.
  • Other providers may have their own apps that are required to download an eBook and instructions will be provided on their website.

Open access eBooks

The Library has access to collections of open access eBooks, including Knowledge Unlatched and Open Book Publishers. These eBooks are fully downloadable and can be kept. As they are open access there are also no restrictions imposed on printing or copying. It is also possible to access public domain eBooks where copyright has expired though websites such as Project Gutenberg. Note that some sites may only offer access to older editions of textbooks, so check if you need access to the most recent edition.