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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Finding and Using E-Books

Looking for an e-book? You're looking in the right place!

E-Book Providers and Platforms

There are many different vendors and platforms that provide e-books. The library subscribes to many of them. You can learn about and compare the features of different platforms on this e-book vendor comparison chart

Springer E-Books

With Springer Link you can read books and book chapters online, or download the content and read it later.

Note: Chapters with the yellow lock icon are only available as previews. If they interest you, you can search for them in our other e-book databases. You can also deselect the preview-only option at the top left of the Springer screen.

Springer example search


HathiTrust is a partnership of academic and research institutions which share their digitized collections. It is a useful source when looking for research, books in the public domain, or for browsing through collections of subject specific works. You can also create your own collections, both private and public.

HathiTrust is available through Easy Search on the Library homepage, or by going to For more information, see our guide on how to use HathiTrust.

Safari Tech Books Online -- New Interface

With Safari Tech Books Online, U of I affiliates have access to thousands of online books and videos that focus on technology, math, science, engineering, and software development. All Safari titles are available and accessible via a search in the U of I Library catalog.

Safari has changed its platform as of June 2018 and you must create an account with your Illinois email address in order to gain full access. We have step-by-step instructions for how to do so below.

1. If you click on the full text link from within the Library's catalog, you will see this screen:

screen shot of login screen for safari tech books

Enter your University of Illinois email address and click on the "Let's Go" button. Even though it says "student," this applies to all current Illinois faculty and staff as well.

2. After you click on the "Let's Go" button, you will see this screen:

screen shot of message saying you're in, enjoy exploring this titleThis will allow you to read the book immediately. You will receive an email from Safari asking you to set up an account. You need to do so in order to get into the full Safari database every time. Click on the "Finish creating your free account" link within the email that you receive.

3. After you click on the "Finish creating your free account" link within your email, you will see this screen:

screen shot of create a password screen

***Please note that while you will have to create a password for yourself, you are NOT required to enter your graduation year or major. You can simply create a password and then click on the "Get Started" button. This does have to be a password that you create; it will not automatically recognize your NetID password.

4. After creating and entering a password of your choice, you will come to this screen:

screen shot of the welcome to safari screen

You will have to select three topics in order to complete creating your account. If you do not, you will continue to receive emails from Safari prompting you to complete your account setup. As the text shows, however, you can change these topic areas at any time.

5. Once you select your three topic areas, you will come to the Safari home screen. Please note that you will have to scroll down to see the book titles; of course you can also search for the title or keyword(s) of the book(s) you want.

ProQuest Ebook Central

With ProQuest Ebook Central you can:

  • Go to the detail page for relevant book information including availability, the table of contents, and the bibliography.
  • Read online or download books, as well as share links to the book or create citation.
  • Open to the first page or select a chapter from the table of contents.
  • Search for specific words within the book and within chapters.

Other E-Book Providers

Wiley Online Library is another major e-book provider. Like Springer, you can read e-books by downloading them as PDFs.

For reference e-books see the Library's Online Reference Collection. Below are resources which simultaneously search several reference sources, including encyclopedias, dictionaries, and more.