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How To Use Ebrary: Home

How To Use Ebrary

Ebrary is a database containing more than 80,000 ebooks (online books) in all subject areas. 

Ebrary ebooks are included in the library's Ebook Catalog. You can look them up there and click View Ebook to read them.

Many people prefer to search Ebrary's own database because then you can search the full-text of the books.

Before You Begin

If you are unfamiliar with accessing the college's research databases or entering your college login, review How To Access Library Databases.


Screenshot of the Ebrary homepage. At the top left there is a menu with Home, Search, and Bookshelf. Top right, there is the language selector pull-down menu, My Settings, Sign In, and Help. Beneath that on the left there is the Simple Search box, a link for Advanced, and a link for All Subjects. Beneath that there is a left column with buttons for ebrary Knowledge Base, ebrary LibGuide, Sign Up For Training, and Send Feedback. The area to the right of that has the Browse By Topic options. Down at the bottom are links for Privacy, Terms of Service, Technical Support, and Feedback.

  1. Go to the library homepage at
  2. Click Books.
  3. Below the Ebook Catalog search box, in the alphabetical list of ebook databases, click ebrary.
  4. Enter your college login and password


Simple Search

Screenshot close up of the Simple Search box at the top left of the Ebrary homepage.

The Simple Search box is at the top of the ebrary homepage. Use keywords to search the full text of all the e-books in ebrary. If your keyword appears anywhere within the full text of a book, it will be returned in your results. 

Basic Search Tips:

  • Put quotation marks around a phrase so that ebrary knows to search those words as one unit rather than separately.
  • Use AND between keywords to search for books containing both terms.
  • Use OR between keywords to search for books containing either term.
  • For more information, see Using AND, OR & NOT to Combine Keywords.

Advanced Search

Screenshot of ebrary advanced search

  1. To get to Advanced Search, click the link for it, which is to the right of the Simple Search box.
  2. Enter your keywords in the search box.
  3. To the left of the search box, select the type of search you want to do - author, title, etc.
    1. Text means keyword searching.
    2. Subject means searching with controlled vocabulary. For more information about that, see Controlled Vocabulary.

B‌rowsing In All Subjects

Screenshot of Ebrary Subjects under Language and Literature page

Another way to find ebooks on your topic is to browse through the subject directory.‌

  1. Click the All Subjects link to the right of the Simple Search box.
  2. Click a broad subject, such as Language and Literature. It will take you to a page showing that subject's sub-topics.
  3. Click any one of the sub-topics, such as English Language. It will take you to pages of search results for that sub-sub-topic.
    1.   Sort search results by Title, Contributor (author), Publisher, or Date

Results List

Screenshot of ebrary results list with options for downloading, viewing table of contents, citing in refworks, and adding to bookshelf

The results list contains several useful features and options.

  • View the Table of Contents.
  • Export the ebook to an online citation manager. (For more information about these, go to
  • Download the work or parts of it (only possible if you are logged into your Ebrary account).
  • Add it to your Bookshelf (only possible if you are logged into your Ebrary account).

Reading an Ebrary Book

With ebrary books, you have three options to read: 

  1. Read it online (no time or page limit)
  2. Download the whole thing (14 day time limit; sometimes not available)
  3. Copy and paste or print some pages (number of pages limited, usually about a chapter's worth)
  4. Some ebrary books can be read by unlimited numbers of people. Others can only be read by one user at a time. That information will be given under Availability. 

Screenshot of the ebrary book view. Underneath a picture of the book cover are buttons to Read Online and Download. To the right of those buttons, it gives the availability information. Here it will tell you how many people can read the book at once. It will also tell you how many pages you can copy, and how many pages you can print.

This page will also give you some information about the book.

  1. Title, contributors (authors or editors,) publisher, publication date, language, number of pages, etc. 
  2. Click the Share Link to Book button in order to get the permalink for the ebook. This is what you will need in order to email the link to someone, put it in a discussion post, or put it in your citation. (The URL in the address bar of your browser won't work!)
  3. Click the Cite Book button to get a MLA, APA, or Chicago formatted citation. 

Screenshot of the Ebrary book view page. On the lower left side there are buttons for Share Link to Book and Cite Book. At the upper right, there's the Bibliographic Info box.

At the bottom of the center section of the page are links to the different sections of the book. Click on one of them to start reading the book. 

Screenshot of the ebrary book view page. Center column, below the Availability information, are links to the sections of the book, going from the cover to the title page, copyright page, contents, and on through the chapters.

Once you've clicked on one of those content links, you're in the book itself. 

  1. The ebook content is on the right side of the window. You're probably going to have to scroll to see all of it
  2. There are forward and back arrows above the ebook content, for turning the pages.
  3. The Table of Contents is on the left side of the window. You can click any chapter to go to its first page. You may have to scroll down the Table of Contents to see all of it. 

There are other features that you will only be able to use once you are logged in with your Ebrary username and password (which are separate from your Empire State College account.)

Your Librarians

Dana Longley's picture
Dana Longley
Summer Hours (Memorial Day - Labor Day)
-Sun: 1-5 pm
-Mon-Thu: 9am-7pm
-Fri: 9am-5pm

Phone: 800-847-3000, ext. 2222.
or check our knowledgebase or submit a question via online form.

Please note: If you need to request accommodations with content linked to on this guide, on the basis of a disability, please contact Disability Services by emailing them at  Requests for accommodations should be submitted as early as possible to allow for sufficient planning. If you have questions, please visit the disability services website