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Safari Tech Books: Need a Technical, Computer, or Science Book Right Away?

Submitted by Traci Engel on Wed, 04/15/2020 - 8:00 AM
A humorous picture of a woman biting a pencil and looking at her laptop.

Have you started learning a new computer skill online? Would like to have a book to give you more information? Are you frustrated because now you think you may have to pay for a book online without looking at it first?

Learning Online & Obtaining Extra Materials

Recently, I have decided to learn some new skills that can help me with databases. I have decided to learn SQL. provides a course called, "SQL Essential Training" which is part of their Learning Pathway series called, "Master SQL for Data Science". As I am coming to the end of the course, I find myself wondering about other keywords and functions that the instructor may not have covered. If the library was open, I might take a look at the books on the shelf or place a hold for one that is recommended.

Look Before You Buy

Nothing is more convenient than having the opportunity to look at a book before you buy it. Checking out a book from a library can give people the option of reviewing it without the commitment of purchasing. Unfortunately at this time, libraries are now closed. Books are now sealed behind locked doors. The current shelter-in-place world that we all have lived in for the last few weeks has made me feel my options are limited.  I am someone who likes books and has used the privilege of checking them out as a way to determine if I should buy a book I may need. Technical books can sometimes be expensive and can easily be outdated the next year. The option of previewing a book allows me to determine if I need to buy it. I now only have eBooks as an option on the San Jose Public Library (SJPL) catalog to avoid paying for something I might not use long enough to get my money's worth.

Popularity of eBooks

eBooks are very popular right now and many are checked out to patrons. If I use the SJPL catalog to request an eBook, I may have to wait for a hold to be fulfilled. Not to mention that computer and other technical books are very popular even when the library is open so I may have had to place a hold for a physical copy under normal circumstances. The benefit of using the Safari database is that users do not have to wait for a hold request - the book is already available.

Locate eBooks Using Safari Tech Books

In this post, I am going to show you how you can gain access to a multitude of top-rated Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) eBooks through Safari Tech Books. I will show you how to locate the Safari database and what to expect when you are using the database.

This image show a screenshot of the site, the choices on the Books & eLibrary menu.
Screenshot of the location of eBooks on


You can find Safari Tech Books by going to eBooks under the Books & eLibrary menu in our site navigation.

This image shows two clipped screenshots - the Online Resources header and the Safari Books Online link.
Screenshots show the Online Resources header and the Safari Books Online link


The next screen will have the header, "Online Resources". This page has several resources alphabetized and therefore Safari Books Online will appear toward the bottom of the page. Click Safari Books Online to enter the resource and login using a library card number and PIN.

A screenshot of the homepage of Safari Tech Books.
The homepage of Safari Tech Books


The screenshot to the left shows the homepage of Safari Tech Books. Along the left-hand side of the homepage, users can browse the book categories. The top of the page has a Search bar to type in a keyword or subject. The red box in the upper part of the screen gives users a brief description of optional features like how users can save their searches, adjust the size of the page, email a page, etc. The lower right-hand corner of the box gives a button that will bring users to an informational page on how these features work.

This image shows a few books that appear when the "Database" option is selected.
Screenshot showing the "Databases" option


I am currently learning SQL, so I am interested in finding books on databases and will look for a book on SQL. In the screenshot, I have circled the "Databases" option. This option will appear in the same place as the Safari Tech Books homepage. To read the book, click on the book's title - this can be done either by clicking on the title in the book image box or clicking on the title above the book description. 

This is a screenshot of a page of the eBook. It shows the book's text and the features provided by the database.
Screenshot of a book page


Users can access different sections of the book by clicking on chapters or topics shown in the menu to left-hand side of the screen. The menu can also be hidden by clicking in the left-facing arrow in the in the upper right-hand side of the menu. Safari also offers a few different ways to turn the book pages. Users can turn the pages by clicking on the arrows on either side of the page. The option with arrows at the upper right-hand side of the screen can also do the same thing. Another feature in the upper right-hand corner can enlarge or shrink the page. Users can click on the appropriate magnifying glass tool to perform this operation.


Information About the Book in this Blog

I want to point out that the book, Sams Teach Yourself SQL in 10 Minutes, 5th edition is the current edition. The book image box shows the publication date of January 8, 2020. I want to read the most current edition because technology tends to change quickly. So at this point, I want to verify that the publication date posted is not the date the electronic version was published and verify that the physical book was not published much earlier. I did a cross-reference to the website and found the physical version was published December 20, 2019. I want to let readers of this blog know my thought process because I think it is important that a database can be trusted to offer the latest information and resources. While browsing the Safari site, I saw many books available that had recent publication dates. If I absolutely had to find the most current editions of STEM eBooks for a college assignment or for business, I feel comfortable knowing this database can provide such resources.


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