E-books: Using eBooks for a course?

A resource for information about E-books at USC Libraries.

USC Libraries provides access to more than 1.5 million eBooks in diverse languages, topics, and subjects areas. They are freely accessible through USC Libraries homepage, with a faceted search for eBooks. With an increasing number of distance education programs, and the increasing functionality of eBooks, the Libraries is continuing to invest in this format.

Here are a few quick facts:

  • Multiple users at a time: Many eBooks are have an unlimited or simultaneous user status. This means that the book can be accessed by multiple users simultaneously. There’s no longer a need to order multiple copies of a single title to add to the reserve shelf. Some titles are still single-user, which means that only one user at a time can access the title. This is a decision by publishers, and many are moving to unlimited models.
  • User friendly platforms: eBook platforms are getting easier to navigate and have better functionality. Downloading, bookmarking, and highlighting is available on most eBooks.
  • We can help!: The Libraries can use course reserves to search for, post, and organize the eBooks with your other course content to streamline the process. 
    • The best way to reach out to course reserves:

                    Instructors need to:

  1. register at the ARES online reserves system (You may be prompted to log in with your USC NetID.)
  2. contact the Integrated Document Delivery Department for instructor privileges (idd@usc.edu or 213 740-4020)

                     Once instructor privileges are granted you will be able to create your course and submit reserve requests. 

                     You can find instructions on using ARES on the online library guide "Reserves."

Some titles have an overlap with print titles in our collection, which means the Libraries provides access to the same title in print and in eBook format. This is done intentionally to ensure that all types of user needs are being met. If you prefer print format, check the catalog to make sure we own the title. If not, contact your library liaison who will be able to play an order immediately.