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Help pages: eBooks

Using eBooks

Staff and students have access to the library's collection of eBooks (full-text electronic books). You can find and access eBooks through Library Search.

All the eBooks we offer can be read on any computer connected to the internet.

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

The DRM that publishers apply also means that, in general, our eBooks cannot be transferred to eBook readers such as the Kindle.

We buy our eBooks from many suppliers that each have their own delivery system. For more information on these systems please see the FAQs on

Access tips

When accessing eBooks, either on or off campus, you may be taken via a page that asks if you are from Sheffield Hallam University and requires you to enter your SHU network username and password.

If you see a login screen that does not display a SHU logo, you will need to click on the Alternative login link and search or browse for Sheffield Hallam University.

Adobe Reader

Many ebooks require that you have a recent version of Adobe Reader installed, which you can download.

Make sure that in Adobe Reader 'display PDF in browser' is set. To check your settings, open Adobe Reader, select Edit, Preferences, Internet and the 'display PDF in browser' should be ticked.

Inactivity

Some of our eBooks are available with a single user licence, which only allows one user at a time to access the title.  If the book is open but has been inactive for 15 minutes, then the user's session is closed. This will then allow another student to access the book.  If the book is being read and pages turned regularly, this should not happen. 

Chrome PDF viewer

Google Chrome browser has a built-in PDF viewer that can sometimes cause problems with viewing eBooks.  If you get an error message, it's worth disabling Chrome's PDF viewer to see whether that helps.

  • Type about:plugins into the address bar at the top.
  • Look for 'Chrome PDF Viewer' in the list of plugins and click the 'Disable' link.

This should enable eBooks to open in Adobe Reader or Adobe Digital Editions instead.

eBook readers

Kindle

Most of our eBooks cannot be transferred or read on a Kindle because of the digital rights software associated with them by the publisher.

You can transfer some PDF documents to Kindles (but not the PDF files our eBooks are in)

Kindles are a personal device and items need to be purchased with an individual Amazon account.

We buy our eBooks from different suppliers for multiple use

Sony eBook Reader

Our eBooks are not currently compatible with the Sony eBook Readers.

Mobile devices

You should be able to view most of our eBooks on mobile devices such as iPad, iPhone and Android tablet. However, these devices will not allow you to download our eBooks to read offline.

Although most of our eBooks are delivered as PDFs, some are also available in the ePub format. This allows you to resize the font to make viewing easier on the smaller screens of mobile devices.

Ebook Library (EBL) FAQs

Ebook Library is a multidisciplinary eBook catalogue with links to the full text of items purchased by SHU. Books can be read online or downloaded for a specified period. Content is included from a variety of publishers.

How do I find the full text books that SHU has purchased?

Do I need special software or hardware to read e-books online?

Can I print and copy eBooks?

Can I download a book to read offline?

Why do I have to activate my Adobe Reader, and how do I do this?

Can I download eBooks to my hand held device?

Why read online when I can download the eBook?

Once I have downloaded an eBook, will it always be available?

Adobe Digital Editions

Some eBook providers (e.g. VLebooks, Ebook Library) require that you install Adobe Digital Editions software before you can download a book. This application allows you to read eBooks protected by Adobe DRM (digital rights management). 

On SHU University PCs Adobe Digital Editions is  available via AppsAnywhere. We recommend when using a PC on campus, to choose to read online rather than download.

Using different types of eBook

The Library buys eBooks from a variety of suppliers. Our preference is to buy eBooks that can be read by many readers at the same time and can be downloaded. Sometimes this is not possible and we can only buy eBooks with limited access. For example, some that can be read by only a few people at once or can only be read online, not downloaded.

I can't seem to access the eBook.

  • Check Library Search to see if there is an alternative eBook available
  • Try using the eBook at another time
  • Could you use the print book instead?

I still can't access it, what else can I try?

  • Get in contact with the Library and we will see how we can help you.

I'd like to use an eBook in my teaching.

  • Get in contact with the Library and we can check that the chosen eBook can be read by many readers otherwise you could set reading activities that only part of the group can access.

dawsonera FAQs

The dawsonera eBook Catalogue offers access to approx 8,000 ebooks that SHU has purchased. You are also able to view many other titles that are available to preview for five minutes or you can ask us to purchase them by completing an online request form.

How do I read a dawsonera eBook online?

Do I have to have any special software or hardware to view eBooks?

Can I add notes?

How much can I copy or print from a book?

Can I download a book to read offline?

Why does the page keep refreshing so I'm not able to download the book?

Can I view books on my iPad?

Why do I see blank pages when I try to access eBooks on my Mac?

Is Dawsonera compatible with ebook readers?

MyiLibrary FAQs

MyiLibrary is an eBook catalogue with links to the full text of items purchased by SHU. Books can be read online, content is from major publishers and intergovernmental agencies.

Do I have to have any special software or hardware to view MyiLibrary eBooks on a computer?

Are there any additional requirements to read the eBooks on an e-Reader?

What e-Reader devices can be used to read MyiLibrary eBooks?

Can I transfer eBooks to my iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch?

Can I print chapters, sections or pages I want to use for my research?

Can I download the whole eBook to read offline?

Can more than one person at a time access a document?

Why did I get booted out and told it's being read by another patron?

Do eBooks provide less or more information than their print counterparts? Will illustrations transfer clearly?

If new research becomes available or the book is revised will the eBook be automatically updated?

Why do I get an error message Warning! The selected title is temporarily locked?

EBSCOhost (netLibrary) FAQs

EBSCOhost offers access to over 600 selected professional, scholarly and reference electronic books in a range of subject areas plus a further 3,400 titles that are publicly available (i.e. out of copyright).

How do I find the full text books that SHU has purchased?

Do I have to have any special software or hardware to view eBooks?

Can I print or copy from Ebsco eBooks?

How long can I use an eBook?

How many people can view an eBook at the same time?

Can I download the whole eBook to read offline?

ScienceDirect FAQs

On a ScienceDirect eBook home page the chapters are arranged in a table of contents, which you can navigate to find the specific chapter you want. Each chapter is a pdf document which you can open by clicking the chapter name or the pdf link.

Do I need any special software to view the eBooks?

Can I download the eBooks to read offline?

Can I print chapters from the eBooks?

Can I download ScienceDirect eBooks onto my eReader?

VLe

Please note: downloaded VLeBooks won't work on University PCs, so please choose the 'Read Online' option instead.

How do I download a VLe eBook?

Do I need any special software?

Can I read eBooks online?