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Ebooks: Reading/Downloading @ the WSU Libraries: Home


Why Ebooks?

* Search full text * access and read 24/7 * download and read on tablet or laptop (not all ebooks) * save chapters/page ranges as PDF (most ebooks) * highlight and annotate * save ebooks to an online bookshelf for access and review later * and more!

6/16: At some point EBL and ebrary ebooks will merge into a new platform called Ebook Central. This Guide will be then be updated to refect that. 


The Academic ebook Environment: Updates

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 to a desktop/laptop or digital device, etc.) depending on the ebook provider, the book publisher, and how each title was purchased/licensed by the WSU Libraries:

  • Ebook Library (EBL) - WSU purchased
  • Ebook Library (EBL) via the Orbis Cascade Alliance (if enough Summit library patrons 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.

Accessability Issues:

If you need acommedation for a visual impairment, there are some ebook options (note- this is not a comprehensive or very useful list - I'll try to work on this!):

Ebrary ebooks - see the ebrary tab; you can put in a request to use QuickView which will work with screenreaders

EBL - there is a "read aloud" link in the upper corner of each EBL ebook



This page last updated: 6/17/2016

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 various tabs on this guide.
  • For assistance in downloading and reading ebooks on a desktop or laptop using the Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) or Bluefire reading applications, see the specific vendor tabs or Downloading Ebooks Using Adobe Digital Editions or Bluefire tab in this guide. They will also include information for transferring an ebook to other devices that work with Adobe DRM but can't access the Web directly, such as the B&N nook, or the Kobo or Sony ereaders. Amazon E-Ink ereaders do not work because they are not Adobe-compatible.
  • For assistance in downloading a ebook with digital rights management limitations (i.e. most academic ebooks) to a digital device that can access the Web  (i.e. a Android or Apple iOS tablet or smartphone): Most academic ebook vendors 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 or the tabs for specific ebook vendors. Links to alternative ereader apps for mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) can be found on the Devices and Reading Apps tab, although to read scholarly ebooks with Adobe digital rights management software (ADE) Bluefire Reader is recommended. 
  • 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

NOTE: if you are looking for an ebook and using the WSU Libraries + Summit or the Pullman/Vancouver/etc scopes, you MUST search for your ebook with just the first part of the title and the author (i.e. "big data" cukier for the book "Big Data : A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think") or you MAY NOT find it. You will find it by the full title in the default Books, Articles & More scope, or the Everything + Beta scope.

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 (you will need to authorize your ebook reading software with an Adobe account). Not all WSU ebooks can be downloaded; it depends on the platform, the license the book was bought under, and on individual publisher permisssons. 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 (ADE and Bluefire Reader are preferred by most acadmeic publishers). 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.


Subject Guide

Lorena O'English
Terrell Library 120-D
Washington State University
509 335 2695
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