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E-books at Dibner Library  

How to find and use e-books
Last Updated: Jul 31, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Introduction Print Page

What is an E-book?

An e-book is an electronic book that you can read on your pc, laptop, mobile phone or e-reader device.

E-books can be electronic versions of a print book or they may not have any printed equivalent. They come in a variety of formats, all of which can be read online, but some also allow you to download and/or print either the entire book or sections.

Engineering and Technology E-books at NYU

Use this guide to learn how to find, read, and cite e-books using Dibner Library databases, as well as Bobst Library and free websites.

  • AccessEngineering
    AccessEngineering is focused around 14 major areas of engineering: • Biomedical • Chemical • Civil • Communications • Construction • Electrical • Energy • Environmental • Green/Sustainable • Industrial • Material Science • Mechanical • Nanotechnology • Opticalfeatures It features content from a broad range of engineering publications, including the latest editions of classics such as Marks' Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers, Perry's Chemical Engineers Handbook, Standard Handbook for Electrical Engineers, Roark's Formulas for Stress and Strain, and many more.
  • Books24x7  Icon  Icon  Icon
    Technology books covering subjects such as C++, Java, object-oriented programming, algorithms, computer networks, cryptography, parallel and distributed computing, and much more.
  • Cambridge Books Online
    Cambridge Books Online offers access to eBooks from Cambridge publishing program, covering subjects from all disciplines across science, technology and medicine, as well as humanities and social sciences.
  • CHEMnetBase  Icon
    Search The Combined Chemical Dictionary, Properties of Organic Compounds, The Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, and Polymers: A Property Database. NOTE: access via Bobst Library, use NetID to log in.
  • CRCnetBASE
    Professional and technical books in chemistry, engineering, materials science, environmental science, mathematics, statistics, food science, forensic science, law enforcement, information security, neuroscience, nanoscience and nanotechnology.
  • ebrary
    A multidisciplinary e-book collection with many titles in engineering and technology. NOTE: access via Bobst Library, use NetID to log in.
  • IET Digital Library - eBooks and Journals Archive
    Hundreds of engineering and technology e-books. Note: access via Bobst Library, use NetID to log in.
  • Knovel
    Knovel provides a one-stop source for finding answers to science and engineering questions.
  • Safari Books Online
    Provides access to 350 ebook titles related to technology including how-to books on a variety of web and computer related technologies. Includes O'Reilly books.
  • ScienceDirect
    Full text access to over two thousand books and reference works in a wide range of disciplines including Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Engineering, Math, Health, Management, Social Sciences and the Humanities.
  • SpringerLink  Icon
    Providing with access to millions of scientific documents from journals, books, series, protocols and reference works.

Icon Key

more information  = More information
full text  = Some full text is available
database search help = Database search help
article linker = Article linker (SFX) enabled
restricted access = Restricted to NYU*

* You will be prompted to log in when off-campus. 


E-book Pros and Cons


  • Portability  – Most e-book devices can hold literally hundreds or even thousands of e-books in their memory. That's a lot less weight to lug around in your backpack.
  • Instant gratification – Ever wait until the wee hours of the evening to look up that book you need for your research paper? A nice thing about e-books is that you have access to them 24/7 so you can get the book even when the library is closed.
  • Search Capability – Entering your keywords in a search box is way quicker than flipping through pages of print.
  • Savings – When a hardcover paper book and an e-book of it come out at the same time, the e-book version is usually priced lower. It also tends to be less expensive for a library to store and maintain an e-book collection.


  • Requires Special Equipment – All you need to read a print book is the book and some light. Not so with e-books. Whether you use an e-book reader, computer or mobile device–you need some sort of electronic equipment to read an e-book. These devices can be costly and they all require power to function.
  • Format Compatibility – Publishers use a variety of different formats for e-books. Some are available as PDFs, others as HTML, and there are those that are compatible with a particular type of device (iPad, Kindle, etc). Some formats have clunky navigation or may not be comtible with your device.
  • Digital Rights Management (DRM) – Sometimes e-books may not be downloaded or only a small portion may be printed.  
  • Doesn't Smell Like a Book – Some book-lovers simply prefer the look, feel, weight, and yes, smell—of a paper book.

How do you feel about e-books?

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