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Using eBooks at UNC

How to locate, access, and navigate ebooks through the UNC Libraries collection


eBook Content

Ebsco’s eBook Collection is a digital service providing access to ebooks and chapters that can downloaded to a phone, tablet, or computer as either PDFs or EPUB files depending on the title. Ebsco’s eBook Collection has a wide assortment of Nonfiction, Biographies, Adult and Young-Adult Fiction, and Children’s Fiction.

Ebsco’s ebook categories include: Children's & Young Adult Fiction; Children's & Young Adult Nonfiction; Arts & Architecture; Biographies & Memoirs; Body, Mind & Spirit; Business & Economics; Computer Science; Cooking; Crafts & Collectibles; Education; Engineering & Technology; Fiction; Health & Medicine; History; Home & Garden; Humor; Law; Literature & Criticism; Mathematics; Philosophy; Political Science; Psychology; Reference; Religion; Sciences; Self-Help & Family; Social Sciences; Sports & Games; Study Aids & Language Learning; Travel; and True Crime.



Ebsco’s eBook Collection is available to UNC-Chapel Hill students, faculty, and staff with their ONYEN and password.

Users can access the platform for ebooks in two ways:

  • Using the Ebsco’s eBook Collection web interface directly at to search and browse the collection
  • Search a book title in the UNC Libraries catalog and link to the Ebsco eBook Collection through the catalog record

All access points will require that you log in with your UNC ONYEN and password. Be aware, it is not possible to sign into Ebsco directly. The above URL with the Library proxy must be used, and you will be required to enter your ONYEN on the UNC Libraries gateway, not at Ebsco before proceeding to the content.


Finding eBooks - Searching & Browsing

There are many ways to search or browse Ebsco’s eBook Collection. The search bar near the top of the page allows keyword searches by book title, subject, author, publishing organization, or content type. Directly below the search bar you can conduct an advanced search or check your previous search history. There is also a menu of the left side of the page which enables you to browse ebooks by category.

The homepage also features a “Highlights” gallery of titles EBSCO is currently showcasing and a “Featured eBooks” gallery of science related titles.

EBSCO eBook Collection Homepage (with use case diagram)


Borrowing and Reading eBooks

In order to read ebooks available in the Ebsco’s eBook Collection, all you need to do is select the book from the search results and download it. There is no need to borrow, or check out, the material. You can download the title as either a PDF or EPUB file depending on the title. Futhermore, some titles are also available to be read in your browser using Ebsco’s viewer.

Returning eBooks

There is no need to return ebooks to Ebsco’s eBook Collection, once they are downloaded you can retain the PDF or EPUB copy indefinitely. However, if you are reading the ebook through a web browser you may need to re-log in occasionally. Please note, your web browser may not “save” your place in the book if you are logged out of the session.

Check out this quick video on how to download a PDF using Ebsco’s viewer, although this is not available for every eBook.

Special Features

Special Features

Users can better manage citations by downloading data for a citation manager right from the ebook’s record page. Ebsco can export this data in all major citation manger file formats. Ebsco will also format a plain text citation for the user using whatever formatting style is specificized.

Users can save ebooks directly to their Microsoft Onedrive or Google Drive accounts from the left side menu bar on the ebook’s record page.

If you create an individual EBSCOhost account, you can also save material to an Ebsco folder. A Ebsco folder is a digital place to store materials you are reading or may want to read later. You can create these folders after creating an EBSCOhost account. These folders will save material in one place so you can access it again later.

Training & Tutorials

EBSCOhost Help Page

Navigate to EBSCOhost Help Page to review instructions for getting started with searching Ebsco’s eBook Collection! There are also tips for troubleshooting common problems. This page also does a deep dive on: accessing audiobooks; advanced searching; browsing; and viewing your results along with other tips to search like a Pro!