The library offers a variety of ebook options from a variety of services, and each serves a particular purpose. This guide will offer some basic information about our ebook services and how to use them.
Ebooks are offered in a variety of formats, depending on the type of device on which you would like to read them. Some formats are universal and can be read on any device, while some, like Kindle books, are specific to a particular device or software.
Common ebook formats:
The OverDrive collection offers books in all three formats, unlike our other services, although not all of its titles are available in Kindle's proprietary format. Ebook Central books are available as either EPUB or PDF files, and JSTOR, Project MUSE, and Springer books are PDF-only.
There are several ebook services that the library uses: ProQuest Ebook Central, JSTOR, Project MUSE, SpringerLink, ALCS Humanities, Hathi Trust, and OverDrive are the most prominent. You are able to search all of these using the library catalog, although you can also search each one directly to access those materials.
Some qualities of ebooks make using them very different from using a print book. For example, you may search the text of an ebook for words and phrases, and, depending on the service, mark up the file with your own notes and highlighting.
Another thing to note about ebooks is their rules about access. Ebook publishers handle access in different ways. Some treat ebooks much the same as a print book: only one user may have it checked out for use at a time. Other publishers consider that ebooks, as an electronic resource, can be shared easily and therefore allow multiple users to access the file at any given time. Both types of access fall under "digital rights management" (or DRM), which is how publishers make certain that only libraries which have have purchased or licensed ebooks are able to offer those materials to their users.
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