What’s the best way to find out if an ebook is available through the library?

Search by Author and Title

The simplest way to search HOLLIS for an ebook is to do an Advanced Search for author and title and then look for "ONLINE ACCESS" options in your results.

Additional Tips:


Check all the listings


Note that you will often see multiple records matching the title you’re looking for: ebook access may be linked from one listing but not another, and there may be more than one ebook access option. Check all the records to find the one that best suits your needs. You will find most of our ebooks listed under “Library Catalog” but some ebooks can be accessed only via a "Catalog & Articles” search. 


Access options vary


We license ebooks in a number of different ways: sometimes you will be able to download the entire book, sometimes you can only read online, or download only a limited portion. Some ebooks are always available, while some have a limit on the number of simultaneous users and you may need to check back later for access. These details are usually listed under “show license” in the HOLLIS record.


Search beyond HOLLIS


Some of the ebooks we’ve licensed do not show up in HOLLIS at all. Usually this happens because a library vendor has not supplied us with properly formatted metadata for all of the titles we’ve licensed. If you are looking for ebook access and can’t find it in HOLLIS, please Ask a Librarian via chat or email. We may be able to suggest a database to look in. It’s also worth checking your local public library’s ebook offerings.


Have another HOLLIS question? Our HOLLIS User Guide provides an overview of HOLLIS's features and functions.


Service Alert:
  • Ask a Librarian, including chat and email, will be suspended on Thursday, November 23 and Friday, November 24. Regular service hours will resume on Saturday. .
  • If you're experiencing an ongoing technical issue when you attempt to access library materials with your HarvardKey during this time, please report it to Library Technology Services.



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