eBooks are electronic versions of the printed books that you might find on the shelf in the library with the added advantages of easy navigation, copying, printing and searching.

The benefits of eBooks include:

  • you can read them online, print and download them

  • you can search within the text for keyword/s

  • you can access them from your mobile device

  • they cannot be lost or stolen and you don't have heavy books to carry or return

  • more accessible - text can be re-sized and many ebooks are compatible with screen readers. 


eBooks are subject to the same restrictions as print books, individuals are permitted to download up to one chapter or 5% from an eBook. The publisher may also have their restrictions, often referred to as Digital Rights Management (DRM) controls, which allows them to control and manage usage, such as the number of concurrent users and the number of pages a user can copy, print or download. 

Accessing Off-campus

As with most of our other eResources, to access an eBook of campus you need your University username and password.


Our eBook collections

We have eBooks from a range of suppliers.  We have eBooks from a range of suppliers which are listed below. There are links to access the books, plus links to printed and video guides for many of these.


This is a multidisciplinary collection of books, and mostly allows unlimited concurrent access. You can copy between 5-10% of text and print between 5-10% but you can only print one page at a time. You can download a title for offline reading for 3 days but you cannot print from saved copy, once the download period has expired you can download the book again.

Some dawsonera eBooks limit the number of people can use the eBook at any one time (usually one to three). When the limit of users is reached, you can add yourself to the queue. This reserves the book, and you will receive an email notification when the book is available. You then have 12 hours to open the eBook before you are placed at the back of the queue again. Once you have opened the eBook, you will be able to access it for a maximum of 24 hours if others are in the queue.

Guides to using Dawsonera books

User guides for Dawsonera books can be found on the Dawsonera help page

ProQuest Ebook Central

This system was previously know as ebrary.

Contains eBooks covering all subject areas, with most allowing unlimited concurrent users. You can search the entire collection by keyword, subject, publisher etc, print pages or copy and paste search results.

Guides to using eBook Central

Help can be accessed by clicking on the ? icon on the EBook Central homepage. Video and online tutorials are also available from the publishers:

EBSCO eBooks

Covering most subjects, and reflecting current learning and teaching, there is no concurrency and only allows one user at a time. You can view online or download.


Forensic Science, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice ebooks, with a searchable interface. Individual chapters can be viewed, printed and downloaded to a desktop/laptop PC.


Includes titles available in fields such as computer science, artificial intelligence, information theory, computer programming, information technology and electrical engineering. A fantastic eBook resource for computing, engineering and technology based students. The link will take you through to the main IEEEXplore site and you can choose to search the whole IEEE digital library or just view the eBooks individually by clicking on the 'Books and eBooks' link.


Database of over 30,000 chapters from over 2,000 books published by the American Psychological Association. Chapters can be viewed online and downloaded to a desk/laptop PC and mobile devices.

SpringerLink (previously Palgrave ebooks)

Large Collection of ebooks from SpringerLink covering mainly Medicine and Public Health, Engineering, Computer Science, Maths, Business and Management.

Smashing Library

This collection includes books on web design, mobile applications and design software. Book PDFs can be downloaded for the purpose of individual educational use.

How to report a problem

If you experience a problem using any of the eBook services please contact ask@staffs.ac.uk and give details of the eBook services you are using together with details of the book.