Answered By: KRS Answers
Last Updated: Apr 20, 2023     Views: 282

Our ebooks come from several different vendors, so the process for reading or borrowing ebooks might look a little different depending on the book. Note that not all ebooks can be downloaded or borrowed, but all will allow you to read online.

Do I need any special software to read ebooks?

No special software required! To read online, you only need to have access to a web browser. Select the "Read Online" option or "EPUB Full Text". Some books will also offer you the option to download of PDF of a chapter or section. By choosing to read online instead of downloading, you are making the ebook available to others as soon as you close your browser, this is compared to when you choose to download which will automatically remove the book from circulation for a set period of time (e.g. 14-21 days). It cannot be "returned" earlier to share with peers.

You might also see the words PDF Full Text or EPUB Full Text, both options allow you to read online.

If you want to borrow a book for offline reading, and download it to a device like a tablet or eReader, there are a few more steps you'll have to take:

I'd like to borrow the book and read offline, what do I need to have before I download?

  • Adobe Digital Editions (ADE), a program that is separate from Adobe Reader/Adobe Creative Cloud which can be requested from IT.
  • Personal login (Varies) for the platform where you are downloading the book (varies by platform)
  • Adobe ID (Optional) if you would like to sync your reading across several devices or computers.

Note: Not all ebooks offer the ability to download for offline reading, but all books can be read online without additional software.

1. Sign In/Create a Site Account

Once you've found an ebook from our A-Z listing, you may be prompted to first login with your AHS/COV credentials. When you select the "Download" option for a book, you may be prompted to create a new account with the book platform (e.g. EBSCO) or login with your existing account. After signing in, or if you are already signed in, you will be asked what kind of device you are using. 

2. Confirm you have Adobe Digital Editions

Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) is separate from Adobe Reader and can be requested from IT. There is also an app available for Android and iOS devices, and you have the option to use any other compatible app or device (e.g. Kobo). When you first install this app, you'll be prompted to enter your Adobe ID but it is not necessary if you only plan on reading the book on the one primary device. See further below if you want to use and Adobe ID to authorize more than one device.

To request Adobe Digital Editions, open the IT Service Hub to submit a request. Choose the Need Something top menu item and select Software from the left menu. Choose Non-Standard Desktop Software, and under the details of software needed, specify Adobe Digital Editions 4.5. You can specify that is needed for accessing ebooks from AHS Library, under the Justification/Business Case

3. Proceed with Download

Select your download options, including length of loan (this will vary by book). You may wish to choose PDF when viewing primarily on a computer, and EPUB for ereader device.

Your download for either the PDF or EPUB will appear in Edge's Download folder as an .ascm file (note that the PDF is protected and can only be read via Adobe Digital Editions - it isn't like a regular PDF!). Clicking on these files should open up the Adobe Digital Editions program.

When Adobe Digital Editions opens, you'll be prompted to enter in your Adobe ID, but instead choose the option at the bottom to Authorize your computer without an Adobe ID. If you would like to manage your ebooks on several devices you'll need to enter in your Adobe ID (see below). If it doesn't open automatically, open Adobe Digital Editions and use the main menu to select File, Add to Library and find the .acsm file in your download folder.

Content will automatically be returned at the end of the loan period. There is no way to return these items early for others to use.

Get an Adobe ID (optional)
To manage the ebook downloads, authorize and sync additional devices you need an Adobe ID.  You'll use this ID to authorize your Adobe Digital Edition content. Note that you cannot use your existing AHS organizational Adobe ID to sign-in, nor can you use your AHS email to create a new one.

In-depth help on downloading content from specific providers below. The provider for each ebook is listed alongside it's access link when searching via our A-Z list.

For reading on a dedicated ereader device (e.g. Kobo) you'll need to have Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) software installed to transfer the books from your computer to your Kobo device. You can also install ADE on your home computer to download books at your convenience

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