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Library User Guide

Using eBooks

Academic eBooks are a little different to those you can read on your Kindle. Put simply, eBooks are digital books. An eBook can be exclusively available online, or a digital version of a resource already available in print. Not all books are available in e-format. 

How do I find Library eBooks?

Our eBooks are accessible 24/7 via the Library catalogue, Discovery.

To locate eBooks on Discovery:

  1. Type appropriate search terms into the search bar; eBooks available on the topic will be returned alongside relevant print books and journal articles.
  2. If you'd like to, use the pane along the left-hand side to filter resources by format; just click the "eBook" checkbox.
  3. Locate the resource you'd like to view, and click the blue "View eBook" or "Access Online" button underneath the book image.  

How do I access Library eBooks?

Our eBooks are hosted on a variety of different platforms. Generally, after clicking the "View eBook" or "Access Online" button, you'll be prompted to log in with your university credentials. 

You'll usually have the choice to read eBooks online, or temporarily download them onto your computer. Unless you're planning on going offline, we advise that you read eBooks online - this way you can make the most of loads of different accessibility features! 

For quick guidance on how to use eBooks, watch the below video (2:07). 

Demand Driven Acquisition (DDA) eBooks

You may notice when accessing eBooks that some aren't immediately available, or only allow you to read for a few minutes before prompting you to request them (example below). 

These are Demand-driven eBooks (DDA for short). These are books that we think could be useful; we display them in our catalogue so you have control over what we purchase.

If you click the "Request" button, a "Request this Book" form will pop up. These forms are immediately sent to your Librarians for approval. We usually process these pretty quickly within office hours!

After approval, the eBook will be immediately available and you'll receive a notification email. Easy peasy!  

What Software do I Need?

eBooks are compatible with all operating systems and popular web browsers. We advise that you install the most recent OS and browser editions on your device. Adobe Acrobat Reader or Adobe Digital Editions software is required to print/copy/download eBooks; this is available on all University network PCs.

If you are using your own PC, you can download the software for free, here.

For downloading to IOS and Android phones and devices you will need to download Bluefire Reader from either of the below: 

    Screenshot of the "Get it on Google Play" button.           

  Screenshot of the "Download on the App Store" button.

Can I Print or Copy from eBooks?

You are often able to print or copy pages from an eBook, but the number of pages will be limited by the publisher. Once these limits are reached, the publisher will not allow you to print or copy any further pages. 

eBooks are subject to the same copyright restrictions as print books, individuals are permitted to print up to one chapter or 5% from an eBook.

eBooks are subject to DRM publisher restrictions. DRM technology allows publishers to control and manage the usage of their eBooks, for example, they can restrict the number of concurrent users and limit the number of pages a user can copy, print or download.  As we purchase our eBooks from a variety of sources, DRM will vary between providers.  Any restrictions to DRM are imposed by the eBook provider and not the Library. 

eBook Central

Reading eBooks Online

eBooks can be accessed and read online, while connected to the internet. 

  1. Navigate to eBook Central via the A-Z of e-Resources
  2. Use your student credentials to sign in. 
  3. Search for the desired eBook and, once found, click the title. 
  4. Select the 'Read Online' button.

For more guidance, watch the video below or click here

Downloading eBooks 

You can download an eBook Central ebook for offline reading on a computer, iPad, or Android mobile device 

  1. Navigate to eBook Central via the A-Z of e-Resources. Use your student credentials to sign in. 
  2. Search for the desired eBook and, once found, click the title. 
  3. Click on the download button. You will be asked what kind of device you are using.
  4. Select your device, iOS or Android, and "I’m using my own device", then click to continue.
  5. Click to download 

Notes made in downloaded files do not remain when the download expires. 

If you cannot download your eBook, it may be that: 

  • The max user limit has been reached 
  • The publisher doesn't allow full downloads

For more guidance, click here


For more information on eBook Central accessibility features, click here


For guidance on how to use VLeBooks, watch the video (12:50) below, or log in to VLeBooks and consult the "Help" tab. 

Downloading eBooks

You can download eBooks from the VLeBooks platform for a limited time to read on your own device and offline. 

To download books you need a device that is compatible with Adobe DRM. You can download Adobe Digital Editions for free here. 


The online reader is compatible with screen readers that provide OCR functionality, such as Read and Write Gold. eBooks downloaded to eReader software such as Adobe Digital Editions can be read by most other software. 

The platform provides 20 plus levels of magnification. Windows & iOS magnifier can also be used. Reflow is available for eBooks that have been downloaded.

You can edit the accessibility settings in VLeBooks to set your own preferences for the platform e.g. font and contrast. The options are applied permanently or until you make a change. Access the feature via the ‘Edit Accessibility Settings’ tab under the ‘Home’ area of the platform.

When using ‘Read Online’ you can change the background colour to suit your requirements. Select ‘read online’ and access the colour wheel in the top right-hand corner of the screen. To amend contrast you will need a browser plugin such as ‘High Contrast’ on Chrome.

For more guidance on accessibility, click here