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Library - FAQ

How do I access e-books?

769 views   |   0   0   |   Last updated on Dec 13, 2022    E-Books Academic Support


The library subscribes to an increasing number of e-books from various publishers, many of which provide full-text access by means of a pdf download. Some of our e-book collections are provided DRM-Free (Digitial Rights Management Free) or via an Open Access licence which allow you to download to keep or print as much of the book as you like.

Most of our e-book collections are hosted by our two biggest providers, ProQuest Ebook Central and EBSCO Ebooks. These platforms offer you the option to Read Online or Download.  If you select to download these e-books, you will be restricted to a virtual loan period of 24 hours, after which the download will automatically disappear from your device.

E-books provided by ProQuest and EBSCO are also subject to other restrictions set by the publisher on the number of pages you are permitted to print or download, and some have limits on the number of concurrent users.

We recommend that if you have internet connection you select to read online for books hosted by these two providers, this offers you more functionality such as printing, copying sections or annotating text.

Read Online

  • Use if you have continued internet access
  • Permits you to copy or print a limited amount of pages
  • Allows you to zoom in and out to increase text size
  • You can use the ‘search within’ box to search for specific keywords in the text
  • There may be restrictions on the number of concurrent users


Download to read offline (ProQuest Ebook Central and EBSCO Ebooks)

  • Requires you to download reader software such as Bluefire Reader or Adobe Digitial Editions
  • Virtual loans are restricted to 24 hours, ebook will be automatically removed after that period
  • You will not be able to copy, print or annotate text
  • There may be restrictions on the number of concurrent users

To search for ebooks in the library catalogue, first type in your keyword in the search box and ensure that you are searching under the BU Library Collections search scope.

From the list of results, on the right of the screen under 'Refine my results', select Books & E-Books and also Online Access

For guidance on downloading ProQuest Ebook Central books, click here.

For guidance on downloading EBSCO Ebooks, click here.


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