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Ebooks help

How do I find ebooks in the library catalogue?ebook

There are two ways

  • Type in a subject and then the word ebooks, eg economics and ebooks OR
  • Type in a subject and from the menu on the left of the results page, select books and then online resources.

Search the library catalogue

Do I need a password to access them?

Yes, you will usually need your University email address and password to access our ebooks.

Can I access them from off campus?

Yes. Again, you will need your University email address  and password to access most ebooks off campus.

Can I print from an ebook?

Yes you can but as with print books this is limited by copyright law to 5 per cent or one chapter. When you try to print pages from an ebook, each provider will indicate how many pages you are allowed to print off.

Can I download an ebook to read later?

Yes. Most of our ebooks can be downloaded to a pc for up to three days at a time.

Can I read an ebook if someone else is reading it at the same time?

Many of our ebooks can be read by more than one person at a time. However, because of the publisher's licence restrictions, some can only be used by one person at a time. If this is the case, you will get a message that the book is being used by another reader. You can then either try again later or set up an email alert so that you will be notified when the ebook is available for you to use.

The most common ebook licences currently in use are:

  • Multi-user (Unlimited): Many users can simultaneously access this ebook. It can be downloaded for offline reading.
  • Three users: Up to three people can access this ebook at the same time. Two people can download the ebook for offline reading at any one time.
  • Single-user: One person at a time can access this ebook. It cannot be downloaded for offline reading. If one person is reading the book online, anyone else trying to access it will be told to try again later or they can submit a 'request' to be notified when the book is available.
  • Credits: Several people can access this ebook at the same time (up to 100/200/400 accesses per year). The Credit model works as follows - we buy anything between 100 to 400 credits, depending on the publisher. Credits are renewed annually if not used. If the credits get below 30, we get a warning e-mail and we have the option of topping up the credits by buying a 'second copy' of the ebook.
  • Download only: You must download a copy of this ebook in order to read it offline.

Depending on the publisher, you may need to download a free ebook viewer such as Adobe Digital Editions.  

If you find an ebook you need is often unavailable, please let us know as there may be a problem that we are unaware of. Contact us through our enquiry hub

Is every text book available as an ebook?

Sadly not. We work with suppliers and publishers to encourage them to provide ebooks of core textbooks but they are not always made available.

Do ebooks appear on reading lists?

Yes, if the library has an ebook of a reading list item the reading list will link to that in preference to the printed copy.

I can see an ebook on Amazon, why isn’t it available as an ebook in the library?

You can request that the library purchase an ebook title that you find but often with Amazon the ebook is for personal use only and is not made available to libraries. We are bound by licence agreements and can only buy those ebooks that allow for library use.

Can I ask the library to buy an ebook?

Yes, you can. Send us the details via our enquiry hub and we'll let you know if it's something we are able to get access to.

You also contribute to our ebook selection process by which ebooks you access via the library catalogue. Around a quarter of what we spend on ebooks is driven solely by which ebooks you choose to use (what we call demand-driven or patron-driven purchasing).

What devices can I use to read an ebook?

You can read most of our ebooks on whichever device you choose - desktops, laptops, tablets and mobiles.

Can I read the library ebooks on my ereader (eg Kindle, Nook, Kobo etc.)

You won't be able to read library ebooks on a Kindle but some other ereaders will allow you to download library books.

What is DRM?

DRM stands for "digital rights management". Companies such as Amazon, Apple, Google, Nook and Sony use digital rights management on their ebooks.

It allows ebook providers to restrict what you can do with their content, such as copying, printing, downloading and sharing. If you download an ebook that is subject to DRM, it can be read only on authorised device, registered to an authorised user.

Many free and out-of-copyright ebooks do not have DRM.

I still have a question that has not been answered here - who can I contact?

Get in touch via our enquiry hub and we'll be able to help.

Page last updated on Tuesday 19 December 2017 at 11.58am.

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