Students Get Free Access to Barnes & Noble E-textbooks

More than 55,000 titles available to ease transition to online learning in wake of pandemic

OXFORD, Miss. – University of Mississippi students have no-cost access to more than 55,000 e-textbooks thanks to Barnes & Nobles’ efforts to help college campuses ease their transition into online learning to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Barnes & Noble has locations on 1,400 campuses, including UM. The move to provide free access helps campuses transition to online and distance learning to protect the health and well-being of faculty, staff and students. Through the end of the spring semester, students will be allowed free access through VitalSource, which the company has worked with provide e-books and digital learning materials since 2016.

The help comes at a critical time of transition at Ole Miss, said Bob Cummings, associate professor of English and director of the UM Department of Writing and Rhetoric.

“Textbooks form the backbone of the teaching and learning experience,” Cummings said. “Many of our faculty and students are displaced and separated from their textbooks. Therefore, opening free access to these textbooks online is a tremendous boon for our students and faculty.

“We are grateful to Barnes & Noble and the textbook publishing community in providing free textbook access so that our students may participate in their coursework this semester and continue to make progress toward their degrees.”  

To get started, students should visit To begin reading e-books, students will need to log in or create a Bookshelf account with their institution-provided email address (

For instructions on creating a Bookshelf account, visit this link. Once students create an account with an institution-provided email address, they should login and click on the “explore” tab in the upper left corner of the screen to search by ISBN, title or author for their free e-books. 

 For additional assistance gaining access to the site or for other questions, visit this link.