Searching for Books in Irwin’s Ebrary (Tip of the Week)

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By Ken Fox

All Saskatchewan lawyers have free desktop access, via the Members Section, to more than 100 legal texts available in the Irwin Ebrary, including the entire Essentials of Canadian Law series (you know, those beloved maroon-coloured paperbacks).

One of the great features of the Irwin Ebrary is that the entire collection is searchable. If I am looking for commentary on the entrapment defense, I can use the quick search:


The search returns 21 book titles, arranged by relevance. Three of the first five hits are different editions of Roach’s text on Criminal Law, with the latest (6th) edition appearing at the top of the list. For the purpose of this demonstration, I am using the 5th edition.

For most uses, the best way to access the text is to just click on the title, then select the blue “Read Online” button.

There is also a 14-day “Full Download” – but to take advantage of that option, you need to create a personal account and download Adobe Digital Editions, which can be a complicated process if you are not used to e-book platforms. However, if you are using a mobile device equipped with Adobe, then the download is probably the way to go.

But for this purpose, I am selecting “Read Online.”

There is a navigation pane on the left, with the book’s contents appearing to the right, and a row of icons above. One way to navigate the book is to simply expand the clickable Table of Contents and find relevant sections.

But since I am specifically interested in entrapment, I will try the “Search within book.” The software does not remember my search of the entire ebrary, so I will need to enter “entrapment” again:


The search reports “10 results.” But note – these results each represent a page in the book that includes one or more instances of the search term.

The Table of Contents now shows where in the book the hits occur by blue bars beside the chapter headings. If you expand the Chapter 2 contents by clicking on the little grey triangle, more detailed search results appear, including a total of 14 hits on pages 42, 43, and 44:


Now click on any of the page headings in the contents, and the main panel will display that page, with the search term shaded.

Please feel free to contact us if you experience any difficulties accessing or using the Irwin Ebrary.

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