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Using Library eBooks as Course Textbooks: Libraries Limitations

Don't see anything you like? or Want to inquire about a specific title?

We completely understand if you have a textbook you have been working with for a long time.  If you have a specific title you are interested in having us investigate to see if we can purchase it as an eBook, please contact Cris Ferguson directly.   We do recommend you read the information on this page about some of the factors that inhibit the Libraries' ability to acquire content in an eBook format.

Factors limiting eBook Acquistions

As much as we want to be able to acquire every textbook used by Murray State University in an eBook format, there are several factors that limit our ability to do so.  

  1. Campus-wide availability - Some book titles are only available for download as eBooks to individual devices, for example, Kindle eBooks or eBooks available through iTunes.  If we cannot provide campus-wide access to all users, we will not purchase the eBook title. 
  2. Licensing Terms - The purchase of many eBooks requires the completion of a license agreement with the publisher or vendor.  At times, we find that the licensing terms are too restrictive, or some vendors are unwilling to accept what Murray State and the University Libraries require in a license.  When this happens, we will not move forward with the purchase of the eBook content. 
  3. Cost - The University Libraries frequently pay more for an eBook than an individual student does for a print copy of the same title, as campus-wide access requires a greater investment.  However, there are times that the cost of a single title is prohibitive or requires such a significant ongoing expense that the purchase of the eBook not is simply not feasible. 
  4. Publisher embargoes - Unfortunately, there are simply some titles the University Libraries cannot acquire as eBooks due to publisher embargoes.  Publishers embargo some of their eBook textbook titles from libraries and will only sell them to individuals (students).  Some publishers are worse about this than others.  Examples of publishers that are notorious for embargoing textbook content from libraries are PearsonCengageMcGraw-Hill, and SAGE.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, but we know for certain that these four publishers have been unwilling to sell their textbook content to libraries.