Looking for an electronic version of your textbook/book? Follow the steps below*.
If that is unsuccessful, search these collections where you have expanded free access to thousands of ebooks during the COVID-19 crisis:
VitalSource (register for a free account before you begin searching)
Open Library and National Emergency Library, both from the Internet Archive, are good sources for books that may not be available elsewhere. You do not need an account to search their collections, but you will need to create one to either read on the Internet Archive book reader or download to epub/pdf.
Or you may request a chapter from an ebook or an entire ebook via interlibrary loan. Please allow time for this option as several libraries are short-staffed and closed. We cannot guarantee that your request will be filled, but we will try our best to find a supplier.
*Please remember, not all published materials are available in electronic form! If you cannot find an online version for a particular source your professor has assigned, please contact them directly. You may also fill out an eBook Search Request Form or contact a librarian.
Looking for electronic access to a specific book you need while the library is online only? Feel free to DIY (do it yourself) by using the steps outlined in the DIY Finding eBooks box above.
You may also complete our eBook Search Request Form to have a Lloyd Sealy librarian search on your behalf. We will do our best to determine if you have access to an electronic copy of the book. We will be in touch with you as soon as we have completed a thorough search.
Please note, however, that not every print book has an electronic equivalent.
The library has a vast collection of ebooks that are available remotely . Use OneSearch from our library's homepage to find them. Limit to Books (under the search box) if you wish to find books only and then check the box to the left of the search results to limit your results to "Full text only".
Anyone off campus can search for materials in OneSearch, however, most electronic resources come from our library databases where material is restricted to John Jay and/or CUNY users. You may be prompted to login to our John Jay login page:
Enter your username as your firstname.lastname from your John Jay email account. Do not include the @ sign or "jjay.cuny.edu." For example, John Smith's email is email@example.com. Therefore, enter "john.smith." Do not worry about capitalization.
The password to enter is the password you created for your John Jay email address. If you never changed it, the initial password is jj plus the last 4 digits of your social security number, i.e. jj1234. Passwords must be changed every 90 days. So remember to enter your current working password.
If you don't remember your email password or it's not working and you need to change it, use the password reset site at http://reset.jjay.cuny.edu and enter your new password. If you need help with your John Jay email account, please send an email to the DoIt helpdesk: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are directed to log into OneSearch:
Use the library barcode on the back of your John Jay College ID card. If you do not have a library barcode, or if your barcode is not working, please contact a John Jay librarian via email or chat.
In addition to our DYI Finding eBooks box in this guide, here is an additional listing of temporarily available free access to publisher and other institutional sites that may have a particular book for which you are looking. You may need to register or create an account to access materials. Please be mindful that these links are for limited time access:
Remote access to content temporarily freely available.
Access to HTML textbooks, Cambridge Histories, Cambridge Companions, and Cambridge Elements--over 2000 Cambridge University Press titles. Access is available through 29th June, 2020.
Ebook Central Collection (formerly Ebrary)
Thousands of ebooks on scholarly subjects. Covers a range of disciplines, including some science. During the COVID-19 outbreak, single/limited user access has been suspended.
Expanded access to thousands of ebooks across the disciplines available through June 20, 2020
All titles available through June 2020
Expanded access to thousands of ebooks through June 2020.
Digital lending library where users are offered free access to a collection of books to "support emergency remote teaching, research activities, independent scholarship, and intellectual stimulation while universities, schools, training centers, and libraries are closed." Collection focuses on 20th century materials, including 1.4 million titles. Titles unavailable elsewhere may be available here. Borrowing period is 2 weeks.
Norton Anthology of World Literature is available for the rest of the semester when submitting a Support Ticket Request on their webpage. Other Norton titles may also be available if you request a specific one.
The Association of University Presses offers access to a wide variety of resources, books, and journals to support student learning and scholarly research in this difficult time. View their list of free resources and periods of availability from University presses.
Expert briefings on macro-economic and geopolitical events, prepared for global political and business leaders to help understand the implications and influence decision-making. Available through June 2020.
Paris Musées, a collection of 14 museums in Paris, offer free access to high-res digital copies of 100,000 artworks from their collections. Artists include Rembrandt, Monet, Picasso, Cézanne, and thousands of others.
Project MUSE --In response to the crisis of COVID-19, Project MUSE is making content from several dozen scholarly publishers temporarily available for free.
Unlimited access to previously single-user and three-user items through mid-June for titles from over 50 publishers.
Expanded access to all reference ebooks through June 24, 2020
Free access to ScienceDirect textbooks available for 90 days.
Over 1,000 ebooks from the CRCnetBase database collections including FORENSICnetBASE, InfoSECURITYnetBASE, AND STATSnetBASE.
Free-to-read titles until June 30, 2020. Please note titles are only downloadable, with the exception of some that are open access.
FREE access to digital textbooks until May 25th, 2020. You may access up to seven free eBooks. You will need to create a VitalSource account before you search for textbooks. Click here for their video help for creating your account. Visit their Frequently Asked Questions page for answers to what devices to use, how to download and print, etc.
NOTE for faculty: Some ebooks do not allow for an unlimited number of simultaneous users. Before assigning an ebook to an entire class, please check the title to determine how many users can simultaneously access the ebook. Ebook Central is lifting these restrictions during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Material from America’s libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions. All material, including photographs, books, maps, news footage, oral histories, personal letters, museum objects, artwork, government documents, and more, are free and immediately available.
Directory of Open Access Books provides open access to over 854 Academic peer-reviewed books from 25 publishers.
Directory of Open Access Journals is a collection of peer-reviewed open access e-journals.
A repository providing access to public domain and in-copyright content from a variety of sources, including Google, the Internet Archive, Microsoft, and in-house partner institution initiatives.
The Internet Archive offers over 20,000,000 freely downloadable books and texts. There is also a collection of 1.3 million modern eBooks that may be borrowed by anyone with a free archive.org account.
Free online access to ebooks and documents in life sciences and healthcare.
Open access books from Project Muse from several distinguished university presses and scholarly societies.
Open access to textbooks that have been funded, published, and licensed to be freely used, adapted, and distributed. Download at no cost and print at low cost. All textbooks are affiliated with an institution, scholarly society, or professional organization. Currently includes 721 textbooks, with more being added all the time.
Open access library of over 60,000 free eBooks. Use a free epub or Kindle eBooks to download or read online. Features world's great literature with a focus on older works for which U.S. copyright has expired.
Open access ebooks from university presses and scholarly societies.
Public Books Database
A collection of open access books published by University presses.
The Standard Ebooks project is a volunteer driven, not-for-profit effort to produce a collection of high quality, carefully formatted, accessible, open source, and free public domain ebooks that meet or exceed the quality of commercially produced ebooks. The text and cover art in our ebooks is already believed to be in the public domain, and Standard Ebook dedicates its own work to the public domain, thus releasing whole ebooks files themselves into the public domain.
OASIS or Openly Available Sources Integrated Search is a search tool for open access materials developed at SUNY Geneseo's Milne Library. It currently searches content from 97 different sources and contains 385,629 records.
Mason OER Metafinder is a search tool to help find Open Educational Resources. Instead of searching a static database, Mason OER Metafinder performs a real-time, simultaneous search across 22 different OER resources resulting in up-to-th-minute results. Because of that, it may take a bit longer than other searches.
Zero-Cost (to students) Textbook Alternatives: Our Library's guide with a wealth of information and links to freely available teaching and learning materials.
CUNY's Office of Library Services guide to CUNY Open Educational Resources (OER), Zero-Cost library resources, and other links to free resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find a search engine for finding Open Educational Resources, their listings to Openly Available Textbook resources and Publicly Available Research.
Free access to many digital resources (including some textbooks) is available from NYC's 3 distinct public library systems: NYPL (New York Public Library), Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Public Library. Use your public library card to create an account and gain access. If you do not have a public library card, see the information below for each library system on how to obtain a library card during their COVID-19 closures.
New York Public Library serves Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island. NYPL has a wide range of digital resources —e-books, audiobooks, databases, the Research Library's Digital Collections, and more. Click here for information En español. If you do not have a public library card, during their period of closure due to COVID-19, you can apply through their SimplyE app.
During the COVID-19 closures, Queens Public Library has expanded access to their collections of digital materials which includes thousands of free eBooks, audiobooks, eMagazines, songs, movies, and videos. Apply for an eCard online while libraries are closed.