More about ebooks


We purchase individual eBooks and subscribe to eBook collections. Our suppliers provide access via their individual platforms, the main platforms you will come across are Ebook Central, VLeBooks, and EBSCO eBooks.  Each platform looks a little different but they all offer the same features and functionality.


Whenever possible we will strive to purchase digital copies of books and other resources. However, publishers decide whether to provide their book titles in eBook format for library purchase. The models offered to academic libraries differ from those provided to individuals purchasing via Amazon and book shops so unfortunately, despite our best efforts, it is sometimes impossible to source an electronic copy of a book.  If it doesn’t exist, we can’t buy it! 


Ebook suppliers offer various license options, the license type controls how many people are legally allowed to access the book.  We currently have eBooks available on 1 user, 3 user, unlimited access, and non-linear licenses.  A single user license means 1 person can view the book at any one time, 3-user means 3 people can view it at any one time and unlimited means any number of people can view the book at any one time.  The non-linear license works on a credit system and allows multiple people to access the book until the credits run out.  The library receives notifications if credits are running low which enables us to top up the meter when required.  The type of license available for purchase is determined by the publisher and wherever possible our Librarians will select the most suitable license available to meet the needs of our community at the time.

Using Library Search to find eBooks

Using Library Search will display records for all books and eBooks so this is a good place to begin your search.  You can refine your search to display eBooks only.  When you find a book you wish to read, clicking on the part of the record that says ‘Read online with your University Username and Password’ will link you to the suppliers' platform where you will be able to view or download the eBook.  Read our library guide which demonstrates how to access and read eBooks from Library Search for more details.

Read online or download

You will usually have the option to read online or download the eBook.  If you have access to the internet, we recommend that you use the read online option as this enables more features and platform functions as described below.

To download ebooks to your PC or laptop you will need to install Adobe Digital Editions. This application enables you to read eBooks that are protected by Digital Rights Management.

Help with accessing and using eBooks

Link to our list of frequently asked questions to find the answer to common queries about ebooks or download our bespoke user guides for individual providers below.

Click here to download

Ebook Central Guide

Outline of a book

Click here to download

EBSCO EBook Guide

Outline of a book

Click here to download

VLEBook Guide

Outline of a book