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Vitalsource/Barnes & Noble Digital Bookshelf

VitalSource, Barnes & Noble’s partner for digital content delivery, along with more than 100 publishers, have announced a program to provide free access to more than 55,000 titles used in higher education for students and faculty displaced by the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Free access will remain in place through May 25, 2020.

A college email address is needed to gain access; and students can download up to seven (7) titles at no cost.  Students simply log into the VitalSource Bookshelf app using their school email address and then find/view course materials from participating publishers via VitalSource’s Explore capabilities within Bookshelf.  More information is available here.

Before you can begin searching for and reading ebooks, log-in or create a Bookshelf account. 

  • For students accessing Bookshelf for the first time:
    Here are instructions on creating a Bookshelf account . Once an account is created an institution-provided email address, login and click on the “Explore” tab in the upper left corner of the screen to search by ISBN, Title or Author to find free ebooks. 
  • For students with existing Bookshelf accounts linked to their institution-provided email address:
    If you already have an existing Bookshelf account linked to your institution-provided email address there will be a new tab called “Explore” when you login in the upper left corner of the screen to search by ISBN, Title or Author to find free ebooks. To get started, visit

If you need additional assistance gaining access to the site or have questions, please visit

In addition to free digital access to the VitalSource library, students may also take advantage of free digital tutoring and writing services through Barnes and Noble’s Bartleby platform to further assist during this transitional time.  Here's how:

  • Visit and click the callout at the bottom left to sign up.
  • Providing a mobile number gives access to a free bartleby Q&A account allowing ten (10) Q&A homework questions per month through June 15, 2020.

If you have questions about any of these free services from Barnes & Noble @ EKU, please contact the store at (859) 622-2696.  It is the hope of Barnes & Noble @ EKU that these tools will assist students with the current transition to online learning for the remainder of the semester.

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