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Finding Online Textbooks and Other eBooks

Where else can I look for free access to eBooks, including textbooks and course readings?

ebook Collection

Don't see your textbook or other eBooks you're looking for listed on the A-Z page? 
Try searching one of our database eBook collections below--or some of the free sites we suggest--to see if your book is in one of them.
You can always Ask the Library if you need help!

  • Not all books are available in eBook format. 
  • On this guide, we only list sources that are totally free to access, or free to you as an FIT student (e.g. content in our databases)
  • Many of the totally free websites concentrate on mostly older book published before 1924 . Those books can be freely shared without violating copyright laws and include many classic books--great for a historic literature or philosophy class.
  • Some of the sites require logins or memberships, including The New York Public Library, where FIT students qualify for free accounts

  • FACULTY: are you looking for Open Educational Resources (OER) or other free and low-cost materials to use for your course readings? See our detailed OER: Open Educational Resources & Textbook Alternatives Research Guide


Search for books, ebooks, articles, and more


  • Try OneSearch first; it searches many of the library's databases at the same time. Using the book's title and author(s) is a good start, leaving out the edition, year, etc.
  • To be sure that you're looking for the eBook (not a book review or article that mentions the book), or if the list of results is long, try limiting "Resource Type" (option in the left-hand column) to "Books" and "Book Chapters"
  • Sometimes the links may be to specific chapters rather than the whole book or are otherwise tricky to figure out. Ask the Library if you need help!
  • If you don't find your eBook in OneSearch you can try the individual databases listed below; if you know the publisher, e.g. Fairchild, see if we have a database that matches.

EBooks in FIT Library Databases

EBooks Through Public Libraries

library building icon
New York City has three separate public library systems:  The New York Public Library (NYPL),  Brooklyn Public Library (BPL),  and Queens Library (QL).

  • You need to get a different card/e-access to use each one, but all are free to anyone who lives, works, goes to school, or pays property taxes in New York State. You may apply for and get access to all three systems.
  • As of August 2020, all three systems still allow you to apply for an online-only library card to read ebooks, download audiobooks, use databases, and access other online resources that each system offers. Some library locations are reopening with limited services, including "to go" or "curbside pickup"  of physical items that you reserve in advance Check each system's website or social media for updates.
    If you are applying online and not are not physically located in New York State (doesn't need to be in New York CITY) at the time, your application may not go through. Contact each library via phone, chat , or email to ask about alternate ways to apply.

If you are outside NYC, you may also find another library near you that offers eBooks. See Other Libraries You Can Use for more ideas .

Google, to find books at a library near you

google search results example for a book


  • "Get book" options (if any) are for buying the book or eBook; scroll down to see if there are "borrow" options
  • The results sort by where you are currently located--at least according to Google; if the location doesn't seem quite right, or if you want to check options for another location, use "edit location" option
  • FIT and other college libraries are not included the search results.


You can use Worldcat to find a college near you that might have the book/eBook but there are no special arrangements for FIT students or employees to access those libraries other than with other SUNY libraries; it is strictly FYI in case you have a personal affiliation with one of them.

Interlibrary Loans: Borrowing from another library, through FIT Library

Interlibrary Loan allows you to request a book that is at another library if FIT doesn't already own it.

  • For ebooks, you may only request an individual book chapter; if you need the entire book, you can request a loan of a physical copy 
  • Some requests may take longer than usual due to staffing at various institutions and continuing library closures.

Free Ebook Websites

If the FIT Library does not have the online book you're looking for, you can try these free sources. 

  • Many of the totally free websites concentrate on mostly older book published before 1924. Those books can be freely shared without violating copyright laws and include many classic books--great for a historic literature or philosophy class.
  • Some books are listed as "Open Access"; learn more about that concept here.
Have a question or comment about these guides? Contact: