IRIS 42: Information and Research Instruction Suite for two-year colleges

Google Books

Libraries + Publishers + Google

If you haven't used Google Books, you're missing out on a great information resource. Google Books has partnered with libraries and publishers to scan whole books from cover to cover. That doesn't mean that you can see every page for free (although for about 5% of the books you can) but you can search every page.

Using Google Books, you can search every single word of every single page of millions of digitized books. That's power.

Since books that are still in copyright are inconsistently available through Google Books, this website is most useful when looking for items whose copyright term has expired. In the US, this means books printed before 1923 (Public Domain).

Remember that eBooks in Google Books are real books that have been scanned and digitized. If you use information from a book in Google Books, you must provide a citation in your list of sources. Follow the rules in your style manual for an online book in a database, or ask your instructor.

This tutorial looks at just a few features. To learn more, or to keep up with all the latest news, visit About Google Books.


After completing the module for Google Books, you should be able to:

  • Identify options for viewing Google books.
  • Demonstrate how to locate more information about Google books.
  • Demonstrate how to locate books in a nearby library.

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updated: 2 April, 2013