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Student Success

Free Access to Barnes & Noble eTextbooks

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USM students now have no-cost access to more than 55,000 eTextbooks, thanks to Barnes & Noble’s efforts to help college campuses ease their transition into online learning to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Through the end of the Spring 2020 semester, students will be allowed free access through VitalSource, which the company has worked with to provide ebooks and digital learning materials since 2016. Here’s how it works:

  • Get started at
  • To begin reading ebooks, log in or create a Bookshelf account with your USM email address.
  • 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 additional assistance gaining access to the site or other questions, please visit VitalSource's Frequently Asked Questions.  



Students may return their rental textbooks, free of charge, by using the FREE UPS shipping label provided by Barnes & Noble Bookstore. See the information below for specific details and deadlines.

To process the rental return, you will need to provide:

  • Order number
  • Bookstore account email address 

Every student should have received an email with their order number via email when they made the rental transaction, whether in-store or online. 

Access the label by going to

Although there is no limit to the number of times you may print each shipping label, you are allotted one free shipment per order, even if your order was delivered in multiple shipments (either for pick up or shipped to your address).


  • ONE free shipping label per rental order/transaction is provided (Example: rental of three books on one order/transaction, you would need to send all three back at the same time to take advantage of the free UPS shipping). 
  • Access to the free shipping label will be until May 14th.  
  • The due date for rental books is May 14th.  Rented books must be shipped (or returned to the store) by May 14th. 

Unfortunately, there's no international free shipping, only domestic. As always, if students need additional assistance, email the staff at the bookstore:

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The Center for Student Success
Cook Library Room 138

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