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E-books: Getting started

A guide to finding and using e-books at Camosun College library.

Discovering e-books

Search for Camosun e-books in:

  • our Discovery system, Single Search
    • the most comprehensive search option
  • the library catalogue
    • large subscription collections not included
  • specific collections,via our list of Databases A-Z
    • search each provider for the most current content

Fun fact!

After much heated discussion, Camosun librarians have decided to use the spelling "e-book" when referring to electronic books in general.

Alternate spellings include:

  • ebook
  • eBook
  • E-book

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

FREE e-book collections

E-books @ Camosun

woman reading laptopAcademic e-books are excellent either for quick facts or indepth research. You can access many of our e-books 24/7, although some are restricted to one user at a time.

No e-reader? No problem! Camosun Library e-books can be read directly from your internet browser - from the library, in computer labs, or at home. Most are mobile friendly.

Each vendor and package has its own licensing terms, restrictions, etc. which may affect how you access their e-books. Refer to Tech Tips for more help.

Camosun e-book collections

Offcampus access to these collections requires authentication:

Our subscription collections cover a broad range of subject areas, including history, science, literature, technology, and business.

E-book myths

Myth: You need a specialized e-reader to access e-books.

Reality: Most Camosun Library e-books can be read directly within your internet browser - from the library, in computer labs, or at home.

Myth: If the library provides access to a text book in e-book format then students won’t have to buy it.

Reality: the number of simultaneous users varies with publisher, platform, and title, and although there are a variety of e-book licensing options available, not all publishers permit multiple simultaneous users.

Tip for instructors: If you're planning to use a specific e-book in your class, please check with your subject librarian in advance.

Myth: Library e-books can’t be downloaded.

Reality: Download options vary by publisher and platform. Some require special software or setup options and some may restrict downloads, but many are available for offline viewing.

Tip: If you just want to check a few facts, the online (PDF or EPUB) viewing options are usually fastest!example ebook formats

Myth: Academic library e-book collections only include nonfiction or reference titles.

bees fiction searchReality; Many of our collections include a wide variety of fiction.

Tip: If you're using Single Search, try adding the Subject term = Fiction and then limiting by Source Type.

Myth: E-books always have the most up-to-date information.

Reality: Some older titles may have been digitized recently, but the content could be outdated.

Tip: Check the original publication date.

Myth: E-books are cheaper than print books.

Reality: Prices may vary widely, depending on licensing options and other factors, and may come with added hosting fees.

Myth: Print books are dead. Today’s students only want books in digital formats.

Reality: Both print and e-books are popular with college students. Camosun Libraries circulated over 38,000 print items in 2016/17.