An introduction to ebooks at the EMU library.

Temporary Free Access to Texts on Red Shelf

As a response to the COVID 19 crisis many publishers (including Cengage, McGraw Hill and Pearson) are offering free access to some online textbooks via the RedShelf Platform until May 25, 2020. 

Not all textbook companies are participating in this offer and not every book from these publishers can be found on the RedShelf platform, but there are many texts that are currently being used in EMU classes.

To take advantage of this offer, you will have to register to create an account on the RedShelf Responds site. Follow the instructions below to look for texts.


1. Check to see if the publisher is on this list:
2. Scroll down and click Access Free eBooks
3. Search for your book by ISBN or title*
4. If you find your book, you may then need to set up a Red Shelf account.
   a.  When you set up an account, look closely at directions for creating a password (and don't use your EMU NetID password!)
There may be a few minute delay before you get a verification email. Use a link in the Validate Your RedShelf Account email to confirm.
   c. Then you will get a 2nd email  titled New Digital Materials Added to Your Library with a link you can use to access your text(s).
 5. Note you are limited to up to 7 free books*
*There is another site also offering free access to digital texts during the COVID-19 crisis, so if you need an 8th book you could try instructions here:

*If you have trouble finding the book

If you couldn't find the book, here are some ways to troubleshoot.

a. Not all publishers are participating. Is the publisher on this list?

b. Not all books from a publisher are available via this program and some of the books can be hard to find. If you have an ISBN for the book, try that first. If your professor sent you an eISBN - use that.  If that doesn't work try searching by title. If you search by title, get a very large set of results, and don't see your book on the first page or two of results, it probably isn't there.

c. Older editions of a text are often not on Red Shelf, but you might be able to find a newer edition. In general if the book is more than 5 years old, it's less likely to be on Red Shelf.

d. Try searching different variations of the title, such as spelling out abbreviations (like Intro) or using an ampersand (&) in place of the word and.

e. Look the book up in Amazon to see if you can find an alternate ISBN and try that.

f. If you've tried all of the above, it's probably just not available on Red Shelf Responds through this free offer. Drats!

g. If you didn't find the book on Red Shelf Responds, there is a very small chance that you could find it through Vital Source Helps: