Skip to main content

eBooks Quick Guide: Getting Started

eBooks are digital books that you can read online or download to a computer or mobile device. This quick guide will show you how to search for eBooks, download them, and use advanced e-reader tools.

What are e-books?

eBooks are digital books that you can read online or download to a computer or mobile device.  Some are electronic copies of books that exist in print, while others are published only as eBooks. 

Some of our databases, including EBSCO's eBook Academic Collection, offer access to eBooks.  The tabs in this LibGuide will show you how to find and use eBooks from all of these sources.

Digital Rights Management

Just like print books, eBooks are protected by copyright.  Because of this, publishers sometimes limit:

  • the number of pages you can print or download
  • the length of time you can borrow an eBook
  • the number of users who can access an eBook simultaneously

Each eBook will tell you if there are restrictions on downloading, printing, or borrowing it.

Tip: You don't need to do anything to return an eBook at the end of your borrowing period.  You can return it early if you want to, but at  the end of the borrowing period, you will automatically lose access to it.  You may be able to check it out again, depending on the restrictions set by the publisher.

Technological Requirements

You can read an eBook online without installing anything!   If you find an eBook that you want to access later without an internet connection, you'll need to download it (see the ebrary and EBSCO tabs for instructions on both options). 

In order to download an eBook to your computer or iPad, you may need to install a program or app.  You only need to install these programs if they are not already installed on your device.  Conveniently, both ebrary and EBSCO eBooks use the same programs for downloading eBooks. 

  • To download an eBook to your iPad, you'll need to install the free app Adobe Digital Editions.
  • To download an eBook to your computer, you'll need to install Adobe Digital EditionsIf you don't already have one, you'll need to create an Adobe ID and password.

Tip: You can download these programs in advance or jump right into searching ebrary and EBSCO eBooks!  If you don't have the right programs already installed on your device, you'll be prompted to install them when you try to download an eBook.