ebooks explained: Getting Started

What are eBooks? And what are the first steps to using them?

"I found an ebook in the catalog, what do I do now?"

First of all, the ebooks the Libraries purchase for your use do not function like ebooks you purchase for yourself such as Kindle, iBooks, or Nook ebooks. Books you purchase can be read on any computer or device you own.  The Libraries' ebooks are protected with the publisher’s Digital Rights Management (DRM) that limits how you can use them.  You are allowed only one copy of the ebook so if you download it to your computer, you can no longer read it online.  If you transfer it to your mobile device, you can no longer read it on your computer or online. 

Once you find an ebook you have several options to use it.  You can:

1.      Read the book online  (recommended)

2.      Check it out and read it online later (also recommended)

3.      Check it out and download it to your computer or laptop to read later

4.      Check it out and download it to your mobile device

Can I read ebooks on Library Computers?

The easiest use of an ebook is to check it out and read it online. You can read an ebook online on any computer, on or off campus and including our Library computers.  You can download the ebook to your personal computer or laptop but not to library computers. Most ebooks are protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems which publishers use to control access to a work.  To download DRM books to your own computer, you need to use the free software Adobe Digital Editions with a personal Adobe ID which you can download on your own computer, but not onto library computers.

What general things do I need to know about ebooks?

The library has purchased ebooks from several sources.  The two primary ebook platforms addressed in this guide are:

ProQuest Ebook Central  Can be read online without an account or downloading.  To checkout, create an Ebook Central account.  For download/checkout create accounts with Ebook Central and Adobe ID. An account is needed to take notes and highlight. You may also download titles to your mobile device.  It requires the BlueFire Reader application with an Adobe ID.

EBSCO ebooks  Can be read online without an account, checking out or downloading.  To keep access to the book, create an EBSCOhost account and then check it out.   For downloading create an Adobe ID account.  There is an EBSCO eBooks application to search and download titles.

For all platforms,download Adobe Digital Editions to your own computer and create an  Adobe ID to authorize your computer  This free software manages checkouts, downloads, loans and returns as well as the ability to transfer the ebook to your mobile device.

Each platform determines viewing and checkout period as well as how the title is accessed, number of pages allowed for printing, and checking out/downloading process.

Raynor Memorial Libraries purchases individual ebook titles, ebook collections and subscription to collections from many sources.  See the Ebook Collections page for a full list of ebook subscriptions and collections. In general, downloading is not allowed for subscription ebooks.