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

Last Updated: Oct 9, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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10/8/2014: There are some serious privacy and security issues with ADE 4, the most recent version of Adobe Digital Editions downloadable ebook reader software (see this blog post by The Digital Reader). You may want to stick with ADE 2 or ADE 3 to download and read EPUB books that use Adobe's digital rights management (DRM) -- they do not have the security issues -- or use the downloadable Bluefire Reader software (Windows only at this point) or use an app that works with an ADE password, but not ADE software, such as Bluefire Reader, the Google ebook app, etc. This particular issue does not affect Kindle ereader software, or nook ereader software as they use different systems; it also does not affect the downloadable OverDrive ebook reader software, or any mobile device downloading and reading apps.


ebrary will be making 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 upcoming changes. 10/2/2014: it looks like they have been implemented - I will be updating this page over the next ten days.

ebrary (a ProQuest company) also purchased its competitor, EBL, last year. At this point hte ebrary books have been updatd 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
  • 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 ebooks 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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    • For assistance in reading an EBL, eBrary, or EBSCO Ebook Collection ebook online via the Web {tba].
    • For assistance in downloading ebooks to a desktop or laptop using Adobe Digital Editions (ADE), see the Downloading Ebooks Using Adobe Digital Editions tab in this guide (or the more specific Downloading EBL or Downloading ebrary ebook tabs).
    • For assistance with reading an ebook using  Adobe Digital Editions on a desktop or laptop, see the Download to Your Computer using ADE tab in this guide.
    • For assistance in downloading an ebook that uses ADE to a digital device (i.e. nook, smartphone, or tablet) see the Download to your Computer w/Adobe Digital Editions tab on this guide; links to ereader apps for mobile devices can be found on the Devices and Reading Apps tab (however both ebrary and EBL now recommend the BlueFire app for iOS and Android devices; it also has a desktop version now).
    • 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 audiobooks in Search It: search by title, author, or subject, add "audiobook" to the search (i.e. philosop* audiobook) then when you get your results, filter by Audio Visual under the Type limiter.

    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, do your search (i.e. atlantic salmon) then select Full Text Online under the Show It filter at the top of the left-hand menu options. To 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 your Ebrary account or your EBSCO account).

    Some ebooks may be HTML books or freely downloadable online books; others (especially those from vendors such as EBL, eBrary or EBSCO Ebook Collection) require the use of Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) software to download and read an 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 indiviaul 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 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 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 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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