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eBook Purchasing Options

When requesting an eBook purchase, please be aware that access options for eBooks vary: 

Single-user editions: allow access to one user at a time. While one person is viewing the eBook, it is unavailable to others. The typical message is: "Sorry, this eBook is in use." Almost all NetLibrary books, available on the EBSCO platform, are single-user titles.

Multi-user editions: the eBook is either: 1) simultaneously available to a set number of users (typically three), or 2) available for unlimited simultaneous use. For example, almost all Ebrary and all SpringerLink eBooks are available for unlimited simultaneous use.

Non-Linear Lending: the vendor designates a maximum number of uses per year (typically 325) and allows unlimited simultaneous access. When the maximum number of uses is reached, the eBook becomes inaccessible. Continued access is obtained by re-purchasing the eBook.  We have purchased a small number of eBooks from Ebook Library (EBL) with this option.

If you would like the Humboldt Library to consider purchasing a specific eBook, please make a purchase suggestion using the form linked here. Purchasing any book is at the discretion of the librarian and budget availability.

Using an eBook in Your Class


If you plan to make an Humboldt Library eBook required reading for a class, we encourage you to notify your librarian or the Humboldt Electronic Resources Librarian George Wrenn to confirm that the title is accessible to multiple simultaneous users. This information is often noted on the vendor platform, e.g., for Ebrary's unlimited user titles:

Or in the Cal Poly Humboldt Catalog:


Publishers do occasionally remove eBooks from packages to which we subscribe. If access is lost, please notify your librarian to discuss options for re-establishing access.  


When linking to an eBook from your syllabus or Moodle, it is essential to provide a stable URL that includes the "ezproxy prefix." This will allow students to access the eBook from on- and off-campus, after Humboldt sign in. The prefix looks like this: http://ezproxy.humboldt.edu/login?url= and is followed by the permanent URL for the eBook.

The best way to obtain a stable URL for a specific eBook is to locate the catalog record for the book, verify a working link, then right click to copy.

Consult Humboldt Electronic Resources Librarian George Wrenn for further assistance.

Cal Poly Humboldt Library's eBook Packages

The Library provides eBook access on a number of platforms, including:

ACLS Humanities Ebooks

EBSCO eBook Collection (includes collection formerly known as NetLibrary)


Gale Virtual Reference Library

EBL (Ebook Library)

O'Reilly Learning

Scribner Writers Series


eBooks on these platforms are represented in the library catalog.

Consult your librarian for help with access to eBooks.


The Library occasionally uses patron-driven acquisition (PDA) to purchase ebooks. Ebooks in one or more disciplines are made available for a set amount of time, and patron use triggers purchase. This model is sometimes referred to as demand-driven acquisition (DDA).

The Humboldt Library has successfully participated in several PDA trials.