Finding and using ebooks

Ask a Librarian

Julia Glauberman's picture
Julia Glauberman
Contact:
Bartle Library LN-2303
jglauber@binghamton.edu
607-777-4808

The Binghamton University Libraries provides access to a wide variety of ebooks. Certain ebook features (e.g., printing, copy/paste, offline reading, downloading to mobile devices) will vary by vendor and publisher. This guide provides instructions for finding, accessing, and using ebooks. If you have any questions, just Ask a Librarian.

Searching for ebooks

You can search for ebooks in the library catalog, FindIt!, specialized collections, and open access collections. The catalog is usually the best place to start. When accessing these ebooks you'll need to log in with your PODS username and password.

Using the library catalog's advanced search, limit the format to "Books" and the location to "Electronic Resources", then enter your search terms and click go. (Please note that some BU theses/dissertations and government documents may still be included in the results.)


Once you find an ebook you want to read, click the "connect to e-book" link in Location/Call No. column. A new window will appear (if it doesn't, check your pop-up blocker settings). In the new window, click the "connect to e-book" link (in the bottom left corner). At this point, you may be prompted to log in with your PODS username and password. After logging in, you will be redirected to the ebook.

Enter your keyword(s) in Find it! and click the search button. To limit the results to ebooks, click "Full Text Online" in the top menu and select "Books" from the material types list on the left.


Once you find an ebook you want to read, click the "View Online" link. At this point, you may be prompted to log in with your PODS username and password. After logging in, you will be redirected to the ebook.

If a print version of the book is also available through the Libraries, it will be noted as "Online access. The library also has physical copies." If you want the print copy instead of the ebook, click "Locations" to view the call number and check if it's currently available.

Search any of the specific ebook collections listed below. Or use the ebooks search tab to search across many major collections at once.

In addition to the ebooks available from the Binghamton University Libraries, there are many open access or public domain ebooks that can be accessed via the following links.

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Reading online

The full text of most ebooks can be read online on a laptop or desktop computer through the vendor-supplied platform.

If you are reading an ebook online, the platform may time out. To prevent this from happening, it's recommended that you download the ebook when possible. Options for downloading vary greatly – for more details, consult the following sections of this guide.

Some ebooks only allow a limited number of users to read online at the same time. If you are blocked from viewing an ebook, it's likely that someone else has the book open. Access will be allowed when they close the ebook.

[ProQuest Ebook Central is replacing ProQuest Ebrary, and the two platforms have nearly identical interfaces – screenshots of Ebook Central will be added soon]

[More information on other platforms coming soon]

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Downloading to your computer

Some vendors require you to set up a free account in order to download ebooks. This is not an account maintained by Binghamton University Libraries or Binghamton University.

Some ebooks can be downloaded as unprotected PDFs, but most will only be available as DRM-protected PDF, ACSM, or ePUB files which require external software to open. The recommended software is Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) which is free and compatible with PCs, Macs, and most e-readers and mobile devices. In order to use ADE, you will need a free Adobe account (also called an Adobe ID) which you can set up at accounts.adobe.com. ADE is not available on PODS computers or Libraries computers at this time.

If the publisher permissions for an ebook include "Download Restricted", you will not be able to download the ebook. For more information on publisher permissions in Ebsco books, consult the Ebsco tab of the Printing and Copy/Pasting section below.


An EbscoHost account is required to download ebooks. You can create an account for free by following these steps:

  1. Click "Sign In" at the top of the screen on the Ebsco ebook platform or in any Ebsco database

  1. Click "Create a new account"
  2. Fill out the account information and click "Save changes"

[If you have not created an EbscoHost account, you'll be prompted to do so when you start the download process]


Before downloading an ebook, you should install Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) on your computer, then authorize your computer with your Adobe ID.

Follow these steps to download an ebook to your computer:

  1. Open the ebook you want to download and click the "Download" button.
  2. The number of days the ebook will be available will be displayed. For some ebooks there will be a dropdown menu that you can use to adjust the number of days.
  3. Select "ePUB" for the format.
  4. Click the "Checkout & Download" button.
  5. Open the file in ADE.

If the publisher permissions include "Available for Full Download", you will be able to download the ebook in full or by chapter. For more information on publisher permissions in ProQuest ebooks, consult the ProQuest Ebook Central tab of the Printing and Copy/Pasting section below.


Follow these steps to download the full text of an ebook to your computer:

  1. Open the ebook you want to download and click "Full Download".
  2. Select "Laptop Desktop" as the device type, and select personal or public computer, then click "Continue".
  3. Download ADE or click "Done with this step" if you have previously downloaded ADE.
  4. If available, use the dropdown menus to select the download period and format.
  5. Click "Download Your Book".
  6. Open the file in ADE.

Follow these steps to download specific chapters of an ebook to your computer:

  1. Open the ebook you want to download and click "Chapter Download".
  2. Click "Check Out Ebook" (the loan length does not matter -- you will still be able to access the PDF after the loan expires).
  3. Click the "Chapter Download" button again.
  4. Use the dropdown menus to select your preferred citation style and the chapter to download, then click "Continue".
  5. Click "Open PDF".
  6. Open the file in any PDF reader.

[ProQuest Ebook Central is replacing ProQuest Ebrary, and the two platforms have nearly identical interfaces]

ACLS Humanities E-book
Individual pages may be downloaded as pdf files by clicking on the "PDF" button at the top of the screen. Entire books are not available for checkout/download.

Duke University Press
At this time, ebooks available on the Duke University Press platform cannot be downloaded to your computer.

My ILibrary
Users can download up to 10 pages at a time per session as pdf files.

IGI ebooks
IGI Press books cannot be downloaded, but individual chapters can be saved for future use.

Oxford Scholarship Online
Chapters can be downloaded by opening up the chapter of your choice and clicking on the "View PDF" link to the left of the chapter title. (All options and limits will vary by title.)

Safari Online
At this time, Binghamton University users cannot download e-books from the Safari Online platform to their computers.

 

[More information on other platforms coming soon]

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Downloading to your mobile device

There are several free apps that can be used to download and read ebooks on mobile devices. The recommended app is Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) which is available for Apple devices, Android devices, and many others (see the complete list of compatible devices). In order to use ADE, you will need a free Adobe account (also called an Adobe ID) which you can set up at accounts.adobe.com.

If the publisher permissions for an ebook include "Download Restricted", you will not be able to download the ebook to a mobile device. You may be able to read the ebook in your mobile device's internet browser by selecting "Full Site" at the bottom of the screen, but the interface is not optimized for mobile devices and will timeout frequently. For more information on publisher permissions in Ebsco books, consult the Ebsco tab of the Printing and Copy/Pasting section below.


An EbscoHost account is required to download ebooks. You can create an account for free by following these steps:

  1. On the mobile site, click the gear icon at the top right corner of the screen, then click "Sign In", then click the "Create a new Account" link. (On the desktop site, you can click "Sign In" at the top of the screen.)
  2. Fill out the account information and click "Save changes".

[If you have not created an EbscoHost account, you'll be prompted to do so when you start the download process]


Before downloading an ebook, you should install Adobe Digital Editions (iOS app, android app) on your mobile device. (Although Ebsco does offer its own mobile app, we highly recommend using Adobe Digital Editions because it is compatible with ebooks from multiple vendors.)

Follow these steps to download an ebook to your mobile device:

  1. Open the ebook you want to download and click the "Download" button.
  2. The number of days the ebook will be available will be displayed. For some ebooks there will be a drop down menu that you can use to adjust the number of days.
  3. Select "ePub" for the format.
  4. Click the "Checkout & Download" button.

If you found the ebook while searching on your mobile device...

  1. The ebook will download as "URLLink.acsm". Open that file in the ADE app.
  2. You may be prompted to authorize the device with your Adobe ID before you can access the ebook.

If you found the ebook while searching on your computer...

  1. The ebook will download as "URLLink.acsm". Open that file in ADE on your computer.
  2. On your mobile device, open the ADE app. The ADE app and the ADE software on your computer must be authorized with the same Adobe ID. The ebook should appear in your Library. If the ebook does not appear, try clicking "Refresh" in the app's navigation menu.

If the publisher permissions include "Available for Full Download", you will be able to download the ebook in full or by chapter. For more information on publisher permissions in ProQuest ebooks, consult the ProQuest Ebook Central tab of the Printing and Copy/Pasting section below.


Follow these steps to download an ebook to your Apple or Android mobile device:

  1. In order to access an ebook from ProQuest Ebook Central on your Apple or Android mobile device, you will first need to download the full text of the ebook to your computer. Steps 1a-1e explain how to do this.
  • 1a. On your computer, open the ebook you want to download and click "Full Download".
  • 1b. Select "Laptop Desktop" as the device type, and select personal or public computer, then click "Continue".
  • 1c. Download ADE or click "Done with this step" if you have previously downloaded ADE.
  • 1d. If available, use the dropdown menus to select the download period and format.
  • 1e. Click "Download Your Book".
  1. Open the ebook in ADE on your computer.
  2. Open the ADE app on your mobile device (the ADE app and the ADE software on your computer must be authorized with the same Adobe ID). The ebook should appear in your Library. If the ebook does not appear, try clicking "Refresh" in the app's navigation menu.

Follow these steps to download an ebook to your Nook:

  1. In order to access an ebook from ProQuest Ebook Central on your Nook, you will first need to download the full text of the ebook to your computer. Steps 1a-1e explain how to do this.
  • 1a. On your computer, open the ebook you want to download and click "Full Download".
  • 1b. Select "Laptop Desktop" as the device type, and select personal or public computer, then click "Continue".
  • 1c. Download ADE or click "Done with this step" if you have previously downloaded ADE.
  • 1d. If available, use the dropdown menus to select the download period and format.
  • 1e. Click "Download Your Book".
  1. Open the ebook in ADE on your computer.
  2. Connect your Nook to your computer. It should appear on the "Devices" list in ADE.
  3. Drag the ebook to your Nook in the "Devices" list.
  4. When the transfer is complete, safely disconnect your Nook.

Follow these steps to download an ebook to your Kindle:

***When downloading ebooks to Kindles, ProQuest Ebook Central only allows for individual chapter downloads (full text downloads are not available at this time).

  1. In order to access an ebook from ProQuest Ebook Central on your Kindle, you will first need to download the individual chapters of the ebook to your computer. Steps 1a-1f explain how to do this.
  • 1a. Open the ebook you want to download and click "Chapter Download".
  • 1b. Click "Check Out Ebook" (the loan length does not matter -- you will still be able to access the PDF after the loan expires).
  • 1c. Click the "Chapter Download" button again.
  • 1d. Use the dropdown menus to select your preferred citation style and the chapter to download, then click "Continue".
  • 1e. Click "Open PDF".
  • 1f. Repeat steps 1a-1e for every chapter you want to download.
  1. Transfer the chapter PDFs to your Kindle (the process for doing this may vary depending on which type of Kindle you have -- for more assistance with this, consult Amazon's Kindle user guides).

[ProQuest Ebook Central is replacing ProQuest Ebrary, and the two platforms have nearly identical interfaces]

Duke University Press
At this time, ebooks available on the Duke University Press platform cannot be downloaded to your mobile devices.

 

Safari Online
At this time, Binghamton University users cannot download e-books from the Safari Online platform to their mobile devices.

 

[More information on other platforms coming soon]

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Printing and Copy/Pasting

Limits on printing pages and copy/pasting text from ebooks vary greatly depending on the vendor and publisher.

You do not need to sign in to your EbscoHost account to print or copy/paste.



Publisher Permissions

Print/Save X pages → X is the number of pages you can print and/or save

Copy/Paste Restricted → You cannot copy text from this ebook to paste in another location

Copy/Paste Allowed → You can copy text from this ebook to paste in another location

Concurrent User Level

Limited User Access (X Copies Available) → X is the number of people at Binghamton who can use this ebook at the same time

Limited User Access (X Uses Available) → X is the number of times this ebook can be used by people at Binghamton

Unlimited User Access → There's no limit on how many people can use this book at the same time


Your institution has access to X copies of this book → How many people at Binghamton can use this ebook at the same time

X Pages Remaining to Copy (of Y) → How many pages you can copy while reading this ebook online

X Pages Remaining to Print (of Y) → How many pages you can print while reading this ebook online

Check out for X days → How long you can keep this book downloaded for offline reading

[ProQuest Ebook Central is replacing ProQuest Ebrary, and the two platforms have nearly identical interfaces]

ACLS Humanities E-book
By clicking on the "Text" button at the top of the page and then copying/pasting selected text into a word processing program, small excerpts of text may be printed.

 

Duke University Press
At this time, ebooks available on the Duke University Press platform cannot be printed.

 

My ILibrary
Users can print up to 10 pages at a time.

 

IGI ebooks
Users can print HTML or PDF copies of IGI ebooks one chapter at a time.

 

Oxford Scholarship Online
Chapters can be printed and saved by opening up the chapter of your choice and clicking on the "View PDF" link to the left of the chapter title.
Quick printing and saving -- Saving and printing limited amounts of text may be available via the icons on the top left of the screen.
*All options and limits will vary by title.

 

Safari Online
Printing is limited to individual pages.

 

[More information on other platforms coming soon]

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Accessibility

This section provides information about the accessibility of various ebook platforms. If you have questions about a specific platform or encounter any issues related to the accessibility of ebook content, please contact Julia Glauberman at jglauber@binghamton.edu or 607-777-4808.

ProQuest Ebook Central

"ProQuest Ebook Central Accessibility will be fully functional soon. We are targeting Level AA of the WCAG 2.0, a very high level or accessibility for academic ebook platforms." (http://proquest.libguides.com/ebookcentral/accessibility)

Ebsco

"Are EBSCO eBooks accessible? Yes: EBSCO eBooks are delivered on the EBSCOhost and EDS platforms, which are Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 Priority A compliant, and for which VPATs are available. EBSCO eBooks also follow ARIA best practices and the recommendations of the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative to make content accessible to all users.

Online, for PDF format eBooks, a hidden layer to enable the delivery of ASCII text for consumption by a screenreader is available. When the ASCII text is activated, title and alt tags, as well as introductory text are properly accessible. When using a keyboard to navigate, tab order within the online eBook Viewer is maintained.

Offline (downloaded) eBooks utilize Adobe Digital Editions software (ADE). ADE leverages accessibility features on Windows and Mac OS to support blind and low-vision users, such as high-contrast modes and resizing of the book’s text. ADE 2.0 also offers robust keyboard support. Screen reader users can use many different tools to read books with Digital Editions. More information about accessibility via ADE is available here: https://blogs.adobe.com/accessibility/category/digital-editions.

eBooks in EPUB format are easily accessible, both online and offline, because EPUB delivers HTML text, which is consumable by screen readers and accessibility tools."

Ebsco's eBooks and Accessibility FAQ page also provides answers to more detailed questions regarding specific adaptive technologies.

ACLS Humanities E-book

"Are your titles accessible for people with disabilities who use assistive technology?

We are happy to report that most features of the HEB collection now allow for navigation by standard automatic screen readers. Our books are designed to be accessible with a variety of hardware devices, software configurations, and assistive technologies. While the majority of HEB titles are derived from page scans, they all feature underlying OCR (optical character recognition)-derived text that can be accessed when the “text” page view option is selected." (http://www.humanitiesebook.org.proxy.binghamton.edu/help/faq.html#Anchor-12)

Early English Books Online (EEBO)

At present we are making every effort to comply with Priority 1 of World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and some features also contribute towards compliance with Priority 2 and Priority 3 guidelines. We are also striving to ensure that this site complies with the U.S Federal Government Section 508 guidelines for Web-based information. Colors used throughout the interface have been tested against the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) and Hewlett Packard's standards for luminosity contrast, color difference and brightness difference. This Web site has been tested for total (monochromatic) color vision deficiency and partial color vision (Protanopia, Deuteranopia and Tritanopia). We aim to test all our products for accessibility using JAWS with Internet Explorer."

EEBO's accessibility page provides more details on specific features with implications for accessibility.

Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO)

"As an image-based (as compared to text-based) database, ECCO is not fully ADA-compliant. However, the page images may be downloaded as PDF images and then the ADA capabilities of Adobe Acrobat may be employed." (http://find.galegroup.com.proxy.binghamton.edu/ecco/component/researchtools/xml/ecco_35.xml#Technology/Searching17)

English Short Title Catalogue

"We want our website to be simple for everyone to use and we are addressing the needs of users with disabilities. For example, the website can detect if it is being accessed through a browser designed for visually impaired people. We recognise that there is more to be done and we are working towards full compliance with World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) guidelines. We have consulted the Royal National Institute for the Blind and have implemented their recommendations. If you have any advice on how we can meet your particular needs, we would be very pleased to receive your comments." (http://www.bl.uk/aboutus/accessibility/index.html)

HathiTrust

"HathiTrust Digital Library is committed to making our interface as accessible as possible. We have incorporated special markup throughout the site but have focused special attention on the PageTurner (the part of the site that displays images & text of materials in the digital library). The HathiTrust PageTurner currently passes Section 508 requirements. We welcome any comments or suggestions that will help us improve it further. Please use the feedback link in the navigation menu or the footer or email feedback@issues.hathitrust.org." (https://www.hathitrust.org/accessibility)

Oxford Scholarship Online

"How accessible is Oxford Scholarship Online and will my screen reader software work with it? Oxford Scholarship Online has WCAG, AA compliance and works with most popular screen-reading software. We have worked hard to ensure that all users have an equal level of access to the scholarly content in Oxford Scholarship Online and are happy to answer any questions on this subject as well as receive comments on areas that could be improved." (http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/FAQs_oso/frequently-asked-questions-faqs#access-screenreader)