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Ebooks: Reading/Downloading @ the WSU Libraries   Tags: ebooks, ereaders  

Last Updated: Nov 13, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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The Academic ebook Environment: Updates

Ebook vendor ebrary has made  significant changes to its interface (for reading ebooks online and downloading them for offline reading), and has retired its iOS and Android apps. See the "Downloading ebrary ebooks" tab for more information on this. Here's a short video about the new version.

ebrary (a ProQuest company) also purchased its competitor, EBL, last year. At this point the ebrary books have been updated to the new interface, but not Ebook Library (EBL) ebooks.  Its complicated, because WSU has access to academic ebooks from multiple providers, and available functionalities (more than one person use at same time, download PDF chapters, download full book, etc.) depend on the ebook provider, the book publisher, and how each title was purchased by the WSU Libraries:

  • Ebook Library (EBL) - WSU purchased
  • Ebook Library (EBL) via the Orbis-Cascade Alliance (if enough people use a title, it gets purchased through our patron-driven acquisition program)
  • ebrary - WSU purchased
  • ebrary Academic Complete - a subscription database of 100,000 ebooks WSU Libraries subscribes to
  • EBSCO ebooks
  • many other scholarly providers such as Springer, Elsevier/ScienceDirect, JSTOR, and more
  • as well as PDF or EPUB ebooks that are freely available online from government agencies and other sources.

The new ebook interface for ebrary (10/2014) - if it is too small to see, just right-click on the image and select View Image and it will open fullsize in a new tab:



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    The 24-7 Virtual Bookshelf @ your WSU Libraries

    • For assistance in reading an EBL, eBrary, or EBSCO Ebook Collection ebook online via the Web see the Reading eBooks in Your Browser tab.
    • For assistance in downloading and reading ebooks on a desktop or laptop using the Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) or Bluefire reading applications, see the Downloading Ebooks Using Adobe Digital Editions or Bluefire tab in this guide (or the more specific Downloading EBL or Downloading ebrary ebook tabs).
    • For assistance in downloading a ebook with digital rights management limitations (i.e. most academic ebooks) to a digital device (i.e. a B&N nook ereader, a smartphone, or a tablet): both ebrary and EBL now recommend the BlueFire app for iOS and Android devices (it also has a Windows desktop version now that is a substitute for ADE): see the Downloading Ebooks to Mobile Devices tab. Links to ereader apps for mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) can be found on the Devices and Reading Apps tab. 
    • For an explanation of what this Adobe Digital Editions thing is all about anyway (including stuff about digital rights management (DRM) and ebook file formats), look here.

    Finding Ebooks in Search It

    To narrow a search to show just ebooks in Search It, use the WSU Pullman scope (click the small "v" icon next to the Search button to find it), do your search (i.e. "atlantic salmon") then look at the top of the left-hand filter options under Type and select eBooks. You can also pre-filter by eBook as a Material Type in Advanced Search. To access and read the ebook, click on the View It tab; you'll see a direct link to the item. You may need to log in again with your WSU Network ID (for EBL books) or create an Ebrary account and/or an EBSCO account if you have not already done so.

    Some ebooks may be PDF, EPUB, or HTML books that are freely downloadable online books from government agencies or other sources; others (especially those from vendors such as EBL, eBrary or EBSCO Ebook Collection) are proprietary and require the use of Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) or Bluefire software to download and read the ebook offline because the books are wrapped in digital rights management coding to regulate loan periods and prevent piracy. Not all WSU ebooks can be downloaded; it depends on the platform and on individual publisher permisisons. You will generally be able to print or save-as-PDF individual chapters or page sequences, however.

    Note: In many cases, you will have more functionality reading your book on-screen than you will if you download it and read it offline on your desktop/laptop or (if it's even an available option) on a digital device such as an ereader, smartphone, or even a tablet. That is especially true for ebooks that are in the PDF format instead of EPUB format.

    Finding ebooks within a specific ebook provider database if for some reason you wanted to (all of these are also findable using Search It as noted above - if you are searching for a particular title in ebook form, search with the initial part of the title in quotation marks, plus the author. For example, to locate all versions of the book "Initiative and Referendum Voting: Governing Through Direct Democracy in the United States," in all potential Search It scopes, search for it like this: "initiative and referendum voting"  braunstein ).

    • If you just want WSU-owned EBL books, you can search the EBL ebook collection database directly here ; you can also search just the Summit group-owned EBL ebooks here. You cannot search both collections together, but all EBL titles are included in Search It, as noted above.
    • You can search the Ebrary ebook collection database directly here.
    • You can search the Ebrary subscription ebook database directly here.
    • You can search the EBSCO (formerly NetLibrary) ebook collection database directly here.

    Most of the ebooks in these collections are scholarly ebooks in PDF or EPUB format that use Adobe Digital Editons (ADE) digital rights management . They can be read on-screen and, in some cases, can be downloaded and read using your desktop/laptop or certain ereaders and/or ereading apps.  See the Devices and Reading Apps tab for more information on this. Note: most of WSU Libraries ebooks are in PDF format; a few are in EPUB. EPUB ebooks will work well on a computer or an ADE-compliant ereader or ereading app, however the PDFs do not work well on anything but a computer or laptop, or a tablet such as an iPad (on an ereader or a smartphone they tend to swim around like reading microfiche...). However, vendors (such as ebrary) may allow you to download a chapter or page sequence in "regular" PDF format that you will be able to retain in perpetuity.

    Lorena O'English

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    Lorena O'English

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    Jane Scales
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