Finding books & e-resources for your exams

The Library has been working with convenors to ensure that core reading material for exams are available in print and online where available. However not all textbooks are available digitally and some ebooks may have license restrictions. This guide is designed to help enable access to the material you need. 

Revision and preparing for exams: 

Where possible try and find material that you may need for your exam beforehand. If there is no digital copy of a key text you can ask your lecturers for alternatives or ask the Library to check that we can’t provide this. We will not be able to purchase digital copies during the exam as these take a few days to arrive.  

  • Review your reading list and see if you can access ebooks on your device and download any required plugins beforehand. This should avoid any technical issues during your exams. 
  • If you only need a short section or chapter of a book then consider downloading and saving the relevant pages. Most of the library ebooks will allow you to save or print off a set number of pages. Some of our ebooks only allow a certain number of people to access the book at one time so saving relevant sections will avoid problems with not being able to view the e-book during your exam. 
  • Remember that there may be print copies of key titles in the Library so think about borrowing these if you are on campus or photocopying key pages.  
  • If you need alternative formats for pdfs get help on how to get these. 
  • Some e-textbooks will not be available on LibrarySearch so remember to also check your reading list and Moodle as there may be links to content for your course here.  
  • When you have finished reading an e-book please close the window down so that other students will be able to have access to the title. 


How do I find and use e-books? 

There is detailed guidance on the library webpages on using ebooks as well as a section on our Moodle module – Library research skills.  

What do I do if all digital copies of a book are in use? 

You may find that the e-book you are searching for is already in use by other students. If this is the case don’t panic. It may become available when another student finishes using itso check again later. 

There will also be other sources that you can use Look at your reading list for other core or recommended titles or search on LibrarySearch.

  • There may be other editions that you can use (check whether your module convenor has provided any advice about whether earlier editions are suitable). 
  • Try searching for title keywords to discover similar titles available digitally on LibrarySearch Digital 
  • If you are on campus see if a print copy is available 
  • Look at your subject guide for other suitable resources 

 What should I do if the book is not available digitally and I can’t get into campus? 

Remember to check your reading list and Moodle to ensure that no digital access has been arranged. Unfortunately there are some titles the Library is just not able to get as an e-book. If this is the case then look for alternatives.  You can do this by searching on LibrarySearch.

Help and Advice

If you need help contact the IT & Library Support Desk.

Ways to de-stress and prepare for exams

More help and advice is available in our guide on preparing for exams and taking care of yourself.

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