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Electronic Resources & Remote Learning: E-books

Search for e-books

undefined​ HathiTrust - Additional Access with Login

As a member of HathiTrust, we have free “Emergency Temporary Access” (ETA) to some of the copyright protected books that are in print in our library.

If your WorldCat Discovery search takes you to HathiTrust for ebook access:

  • Log into HathiTrust, screenshot:





  • The ebook link, has now changed from Limited (search only) to Temporary access, screenshot:






Good to Know:

  • The e-books can be viewed online in a browser - there are no download options
  • Only one user can view at a time (unless we have two print copies, then two people can view)
  • E-books are “checked out” to you for one hour at a time. If someone else is waiting for the book it will automatically “be returned” after that one hour time. If no one is waiting for the book, it will automatically “renew” check-out to you for the next one hour period of time.
  • Smartphone or Tablet Specific Instructions for e-book check-out

How to use an eBook

E-book Help

Here's what you need to know about using Macalester's e-books:

  1.  Many e-books can be borrowed, that is "checked-out," similar to physical books (these don't show in your WorldCat account, though). Loan periods can vary, from 1 hour at a time, to 14 days. After your loan period has passed, the book will expire automatically and no longer be available on your device.
  2. Look at each e-book platform's help information, Ask Us, if you questions. It's a different process than downloading e-books for personal use or even from the public library system. The process also differs depending on which particular collection you are wanting to use.
  3. Some Macalester e-books restrict the number of simultaneous users so that only one person can access the book at a time
  4. "Simultaneous user limit has been reached" or "Another user at your institution is accessing this book"  – If you see this message, try to access the e-book again, in an hour or two. On a small number of e-books you may receive this type of message because our subscription agreement with the vendor / publisher limits the number of individuals that can access at one time.
  5. Start your search at WorldCat Discovery. Look for the "View Ebook" button to access the book, then use this LibGuide for additional troubleshooting tips.
  6. Read the information and pop-up windows that accompany your e-book download. You can borrow thousands of e-books through our system for free. You can access them from on and off-campus. You can use e-books on your iPads, laptops, e-readers, etc. However, there are compatibility issues with certain devices and collections.  When you download a book, you may have to create accounts, add programs, or be subject to a loan period.  You also want to be sure to download the book to the device you plan to read from, as transferring files is not always possible. Your best bet is to read from your computer browser.

Printing or copying pages

The options you have depends on who has supplied the eBook. Usually you can print or download around 5% of a book. The eBook platform will usually indicate your limit, so make sure you only print essential pages.

E-book Downloads and Borrowing

Download ebooks (borrow)

  • Like print books, there is a check-out period for access to the e-books. For this book, the period is a maximum of 7 days. If you need the book longer you can check it out / download it again.
  • Choose the best format for the device you are using (PDF or EPUB)
  • Download the viewing software (Adobe Digital Editions)

eBooks at Macalester

Why use e-books?

Some benefits of using e-books include:

  • 24 hours a day, 7 days a week access.
  • they can be read on and off campus.
  • they can be read by more than one student at a time (with occasional exceptions).
  • the pages can be searched by keyword.
  • citation details can be exported to referencing software.

Help / Troubleshooting

If you need advice on using or navigating e-books Ask Us.The help pages within the e-book platform also provide advice on functions such as note-taking, searching and exporting citations

If you are having technical difficulties or are receiving error messages, contact April Anderson,  Electronic Resources Librarian.

But First, please check the following:

  • Whether or not your login still works for other services.
  • Clearing your cache and cookies. 
  • That your web-browser (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer etc) is updated to the latest version.
  • If you have tried these checks and still have difficulties, please report the issue to the electronic resources librarian, at

If possible, try to include a screenshot of the error message you are receiving.