Free Textbooks


In 2009 the UC Libraries acquired systemwide perpetual access to Springer e-books published in English and German from 2005 up-to-and-including 2010. From May of 2009 to the end of the year, members of the UC Merced community downloaded 8,350 full-text chapters from Springer e-books. This represents a remarkable number of downloads for a campus the size of UC Merced and clearly demonstrates the popularity of this vast information resource.


Because they are freely available to UC Merced students, and because they cover a wide range of subject areas, the Springer e-books provide an ideal solution for faculty who wish to keep down the cost of required and recommended textbooks without diminishing the quality of the education students receive. When a Springer e-book is used as a course textbook, students can either access the book online at no charge whatsoever, or, if they prefer, obtain a printed copy of any Springer e-book from Springer’s Print on Demand Service for $24.95. Besides the Springer e-books, UC Merced Library provides access to hundreds of thousands of additional e-books along with some 34,000 electronic full-text journals, any of which can be used as free textbooks or mashed up to create free course readers.  


For more information on the Springer e-books, including how to access them, see:


A short video demonstration on accessing Springer e-books is available at:


If you have questions please contact Donald A. Barclay, Deputy University Librarian (209.201.9724).

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