ebooks explained: Getting Started

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

"I found an ebook, what do I do now?"

First of all, the ebooks in our catalog do not function like ebooks you purchase for yourself such as Nook or Kindle books. 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, download it and transfer it to your mobile device


* ebooks with multiple or unlimited user licenses may allow you to checkout multiple copies of the title. 

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, including our Library computers as well as on or off campus.  You can download the ebook 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 three primary ebook platforms addressed in this guide are:

EBL (Electronic Book Library)   Requires an EBL account and logging in before looking through the book.  After 10 minutes you'll be asked to check out the title. 

ebrary  Can be read online without an account or downloading.  To checkout, create an ebrary account.  For download/checkout create accounts with ebrary and Adobe ID. An ebrary account is needed to take notes and highlight.

EBSCOhost 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.

For all 3 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 length as well as how the title is accessed, number of pages allowed for printing, and checkingout/downloading process. View tabs above for vendor specific details.

Raynor Memorial Libraries purchases individual ebook titles and collections through subscription.  See page Ebook Collections for these subscriptions and collections. In general, downloading is not allowed for subscription ebooks.