The library has recently added 20,000 online books from the vendor Ebrary. This is the “community college” collection, of interest to students and faculty at 2-year colleges. All books are simultaneously available to all RCC users, 24/7. Here are some things you can do:
  • Search every word of every book using powerful search techniques.
  • Create an online “bookshelf” to store books you want to come back to.
  • Create online “folders” to organize your books by subject.
  • Highlight passages you are interested in, using online markers in 3 colors.
  • Write comments in online note fields.
  • Add pictures, videos and other online features that you want to attach to a book passage.
  • (Highlights, comments and online features are saved and available when you get the book from your bookshelf the next time.)
  • Print 30 pages of any book.
  • Create automatic citations for bibliographies.
These online books are not “textbooks” per se but professors will find many of them useful as supplementary or even required texts in conventional, hybrid and online courses. Along with regular books and online articles, students will find them useful for doing research papers.

Getting Started


  • Go to the library website www.rcc.mass.edu/lib.
  • Select Ebrary E-books in the center column. (you can also search for Ebrary books in the Online Catalog)
  • The intro page has a welcome, a training video, topics to browse and a list of popular books.
  • Click on the Bookshelf tab. Sign in using your RCC library barcode number. (If you don’t have a barcode, get one at the circulation desk in the library.)

How to Search

  • Click on the Search tab. Type a word in the Simple Search field and hit Search ebrary. (Later, you may want to use the Advanced Search feature or browse using All Subjects.
  • Choose a book that looks interesting. Under the book entry, click on Add to My Bookshelf.
  • Click on the Bookshelf tab and notice that the book has been added to the bookshelf.
  • Create a folder where books on the same subject can be stored. Click Add Folder. Give the folder a name and click Add Folder again.
  • Click and hold on the book cover and then drag and drop into the folder.

How to Read a Book

  • To open the folder, click on its name.
  • To open the book, click on its title.
  • Navigate through the book by:
    • clicking left or right arrow for next or previous page,
    • changing the page number, or
    • selecting a chapter in the table of contents.
  • To highlight a passage:
    • Select the passage.
    • Click on the “Choose an annotation type” icon, a black upside down pyramid.
    • Select a colored online marker of your choice.
  • To add a note:
    • Select a passage.
    • Click on the “Choose an annotation type” icon.
    • Select a colored online note field of your choice.
    • Write a comment in the note field and hit OK.
  • To add a web link:
    • Select a passage.
    • Click on the “Choose an annotation type” icon.
    • Choose the web link option. (WWW)
    • Type in URL and hit OK. (This makes the selected term into a live weblink.)



Click on InfoTools. The following options drop down.
  • Copy. Click on Copy to copy a section to the clipboard.
  • Print. Click on Print to print this page, this chapter or up to 30 pages.
  • Define. Select a word and click on Define to look it up in an online dictionary.
  • Explain. Select a term and click on Explain to look it up in an online encyclopedia.
  • Locate. Select a geographical location and click on Locate to find where it is.
  • Who. Select a person’s name and click on Who to access biographical information.
  • Search all documents. Select a word. This feature finds all ebrary books where it is found.
  • Search Library. Select a word. This features names other books on this topic not in ebrary and the closest libraries where they are found.
  • Search Web. Select a word and search the web for it.
  • Search News. Select a word and look for news stories on it.
  • Search video. Select a word and search for videos on that subject. The link for the video can then be imbedded in the text using the add a web link feature.
  • Search images. Select a word and search for images on that subject. The link for the images can then be imbedded in the text using the add a web link feature.

Basic Research Help

Please click the Ask a Librarian icon if you have any questions concerning these guides, need help finding material for your research or any general questions you might have.

General Library Information

Research guide prepared on 05/11/10 by William Hoag: whoag@rcc.mass.edu