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Discover the Library: eBooks

Accessing eBooks

Unlike traditional printed books, academic eBooks are available in electronic formats which can be read on various devices including computers, tablets, e-readers, and smartphones. They offer several advantages over their printed counterparts:

  1. Accessibility: Academic eBooks can be accessed anytime, anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection or the eBook file is downloaded on your device. This accessibility is particularly beneficial for distance learning, online research, and studying on the go.
  2. Searchability: eBook platforms often provide search functions that allow users to search for specific terms, topics, or keywords within the content of the book. This feature makes it easier to find relevant information quickly, saving time and effort.
  3. Portability: You can carry an entire library of texts with you on a single device. This convenience eliminates the need to physically transport multiple books, making them ideal for students, researchers, and professionals who need access to various resources.
  4. Annotation and Note-taking: Many eBook platforms allow users to highlight text, add bookmarks, and make annotations directly within the digital text. This functionality facilitates active reading, note-taking, and organization of key ideas, which can be valuable for academic purposes.

All our 703,642 eBooks are accessible 24/7, wherever your location, via Discovery.

To locate and access an eBook in our collection:  

  1. Type your search terms into the Discovery search box; you can use appropriate keywords, the book title, author name, or ISBN.
  2. To filter resources by format, utilise the left-hand pane to select the “eBook” checkbox.
  3. After locating the source you’d like to read, click the blue “View eBook” under the book cover image.
  4. You may be prompted to authenticate with your standard University of Suffolk credentials (S number and password).

We generally encourage students to read eBooks online; this will ensure that you have access to a wider range of time-saving features. To read online, click the “Read Online” button underneath the book cover image. To download an eBook for offline usage, click “Download Book” and follow the guidance provided; you may be required to install new software on your device.

Want more information? Check out the links below:

There are two main reasons why you may not be able to access or download an eBook, as below. Still not sure what the problem is? Our friendly Helpdesk team are more than happy to help, email us at or ping us a message on live chat.


The User Limit has been reached

With many eBooks, we have limited licenses, meaning they can often only provide access to a certain number of simultaneous users at any one time. If all the available licenses are already in use, additional students may be unable to access the eBook until a license becomes available.

The library is notified when this happens and will buy additional licenses to accommodate more students where possible. If you’re unable to get access to an eBook, it may be beneficial to return to the eBook in a few hours, or on the following day.


Demand Driven Acquisition (DDA) eBooks

You may notice that not all eBooks are immediately available, or only allow you to read them for a few minutes before prompting you to request them. These are demand-driven eBooks (DDA for short); your librarians have added them to the collection as we think they could be useful, but we haven’t purchased them yet.

Clicking the request button will inform the librarians that the title if of value; if the request is approved, the title will immediately be added to the collection, and you’ll receive an email. 

Did you know...

Did you know that the University of Suffolk Library has approximately 703,642 eBooks in its collection?

Academic eBooks differ from the eBooks you can read on Kindle or other e-reader devices. In simple terms, eBooks are digital versions of books, which can either be found exclusively online or created as digital counterparts to print resources. It's important to note that not all books are available in electronic format.