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E-books: FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an e-book?

E-books or electronic books are electronic versions of printed books which can be read in full text via the Internet.

The Library has a growing collection of electronic books which are available from our main providers,Ebook Central, VLeBooks and Safari. The Library also subscribes to a number of electronic resources that provide the full text of reference titles (encyclopaedias and dictionaries) and core texts electronically.

How do I find and access e-books?

The easiest way to find and access e-books is to search the Library Catalogue, just like you would for printed books.

  • You can search by author, title or keyword.
  • You can also limit your search to just e-books by selecting E-book from the Item Type drop down menu.
  • If the book is available online click on the "Click here to access" link.
  • If you are off campus you will need to enter your college IT username and password.

Why can't I access the e-book?

There may be a number of reasons:

  • It might be that you are trying to access an e-book where we are limited to a certain number of users at one time. If you cannot access an e-book try again later, as it may be that the book is already being used by the maximum number of users.
  • Some titles allow you to reserve a copy in the same way as you would reserve a print book.   If the title you are using has reached its limit then you will be given the option to add yourself to a queue.  This reserves the e-book and you will receive an email when the book becomes available.
  • If you are using a MAC or iPad you will need to ensure that the default reader is Adobe Acrobat.

If you get an error message when you are trying to access an e-book, and cannot see any reason for it, please email providing details of the error message, the details of the e-book you were trying to access and your contact details.

Can I print or copy from an e-book?

E-books are subject to strict copyright and digital rights management. Copyright Law allows you to print one chapter or 5%, whichever is greater, of an e-book. Most providers restrict the amount you can print and copy.

Can I download e-books?

You will need to download Adobe Digital Editions to your laptop or pc. If you want to download the e-book to your mobile device you will also need to install the Bluefire reader app.

The majority of our e-books allow you to download the entire e-book onto the local drive of your computer or memory stick for a designated period of 1 day. You will lose access after this time but you can always go back and download the book again.  Copy and print facilities are not available from the downloaded pdf, but during the download period, you can make annotations, highlight text and use Adobe Reader accessibility options.

You can download e-books from VLeBooks to a device which is compatible with Adobe Digital Editions.

Ebook Central also allows you to download chapters or page ranges as a pdf document. 

For more information view the ProQuest Ebook Central LibGuide 

Can I download e-books to my e-reader?

At present, you cannot download our e-books to a Kindle.

You can download e-books from VLeBooks to a device which is compatible with Adobe Digital Editions

Ebook Central allows you to download e-books to other mobile devices and e-readers. You will need to have Adobe Digital Editions installed on the computer you use for the download. You can then transfer the document onto Adobe Digital Editions supported devices such as the Kobo and Sony eReader, or to an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. 

For more information view the ProQuest Ebook Central LibGuide 

Can I read an e-book using a screen reader?

Ebook Central provides an accessibilty mode for use with screen readers which will enable the use of keyboard shortcuts and the provision of PDFs in a screen reader friendly format. Additionally the e-books can be downloaded and read using Adobe Digital Editions on any compatible device.

For more information view the ProQuest Ebook Central LibGuide 

VLeBooks online reader is compatible with screen readers that provide Optical Character Recognition (OCR) functionality, such as Read and Write Gold.  For software such as JAWS, NVDA and Claro Read, the e-book should be first downloaded to Adobe Digital Editions, as this software is not compatible with the VLeBooks online reader. 

Why am I getting an error message about pop-ups when I try to read a VLeBook title online on my IOS device?

 Many iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, Macbook)  automatically block pop-ups, so you will need to disable this to allow VLebooks to open up in a new window. 

You can do this in Safari by: 

  • Clicking on Settings
  • Then, from the options, click on Safari
  • In the General section, swipe on Block Pop-ups to turn off pop-up blocking.

To enable pop-ups on the Google Chrome browser: 

  • Open the Google Chrome internet browser 
  • Click the 3 dots button in the top right corner of the browser window
  • Select 'Settings' 
  • Select 'Privacy and Security'
  • Select 'Site Settings' 
  • Scroll to 'Pop-ups and redirects' listed under 'Content'  
  • Toggle 'Blocked' to off 

Once you have done this, the Read Online function should work normally.


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