Q. How can students access Spring 2020 textbooks online?

While access to the University Libraries print textbook collection is unavailable during Alameda County's shelter in place order, we've found that the vast majority of spring textbooks can now be found online through one of the three sources listed below

  1. RedShelf: This digital textbook platform is working with publishers to provide students free online access for up to seven textbooks through May 25, 2020  (more details here). Students can: 
    1. Create a free RedShelf account with their horizon.csueastbay.edu email address
    2. Search RedShelf for their textbook title to see if it is available
    3. If available, click on the title/view details options for their textbook, then choose "Add to My Shelf"
    4. Once the textbook is on their shelf, students can use the "Start Reading" button to access the text of the book online
    5. RedShelf has provided an FAQ for students 
  2. VitalSource: Similarly, this textbook tool is providing students free access to up to seven online textbooks from many publishers through May 25, 2020 (more details here). Students can:
    1. Create a free account with VitalSource with their horizon.csueastbay.edu email address
    2. Search VitalSource for their textbook title to see if it is available
    3. If available, click on the "Borrow" button that appears for the textbook they'd like to read 
    4. Once the book is "borrowed" it will be added to a student's library and they will have the option to "Open Book" and start reading
    5. VitalSource has provided videos and an FAQ for students and instructors 
  3. Library e-books: Some textbooks are available as e-books through the Library. Students can:
    1. Search the library's catalog (OneSearch) for their textbook title to see if it is available
    2. If available, click on the "Online access" link that appears underneath the textbook information
    3. When prompted, enter their NetID and password to access the e-book
    4. Once logged in, students should be able to read the e-book online 

Please Note: The full text of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th & 6th editions), as well as other writing guides are available from both RedShelf and VitalSource. 

Cal State East Bay librarians are available to assist students in locating online copies of their textbooks via chat or email during the shelter in place order. 


  • Last Updated Mar 27, 2020
  • Views 486
  • Answered By Stephanie Alexander

FAQ Actions

Was this helpful? 3   0