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Using EBSCO eBooks

How do I know if I can check out (=download) an EBSCO eBook?

Attention: A My EBSCOhost account is required to download/check out EBSCO eBooks.  For instructions on how to create a My EBSCOhost account, see the appropriate tab in this guide.

Only eBooks accompanied by a Download (Offline) link can be downloaded to a computer and read offline at a later time.

How to check out (=download) an eBook

Reminder: Offline viewing requires a MyEBSCOhost account (steps for account creation outlined in "MyEBSCOhost" tab of this Guide) and Adobe® Digital Editions 2.0 or higher (this free software can be downloaded from

  1. Click the Download (Offline) link for the eBook you would like to download.

  2. From the pop-up window that displays, select a Checkout Period from the drop-down menu.

    ATTENTION: Some eBooks can be checked out for a maximum of 21 days, while others only check out for a maximum of 3 days. To change the default eBook check-out length from the maximum allowed to a shorter timeframe, click on the pull-down arrow and select a lower number of check-out days.

  3. Choose a Format. Most EBSCO eBooks can be checked out/downloaded in either PDF or EPUB format. When available, EPUB is the recommended format for check-out/download. It automatically resizes to fit your screen and when you adjust font size.  It is compatible with many e-readers and reading apps, including the iPad/iPhone, Kindle Fire, Galaxy tablets, the EBSCO eBooks app, as well as the Bluefire app for iOS and Android devices.

  4. Click on the Checkout & Download button.

    The eBook will be added to the "Checkouts" section of "My Folder" in the navigation menu on the left side of the screen, as well as the "My Checkouts" link located in top toolbar of the EBSCOhost interface.

  5. When the "Opening URLLink.acsm" window pops up, select Open with or Save File from the resulting dialog box.

    Select Open with only if Adobe® Digital Editions is already installed on your computer. It is highly recommended that you have the latest version of Adobe® Digital Editions installed on your desktop.  To verify this, you can check the Adobe® Digital Editions download page.

    The first time you open an EBSCO eBook, Adobe® Digital Editions will ask you to authorize your computer. To do that you will need an Adobe ID. If you later open the eBook on another computer or a different device, you can simply supply the same ID to open the eBook.
    If you don’t have an Adobe ID, click the Create an Adobe ID link. After creating the ID on the Adobe® website, you can close that browser window, return to Adobe® Digital Editions, and enter the newly-created Adobe ID.

    IMPORTANT: If you choose to authorize without an ID, you will be able to read the eBook exclusively on the device you downloaded the eBook file to. You will not be able to transfer the file and read it on other eReader devices or other computers (or the same computer if you re-install). If you don’t plan on moving your books to other computers (or re-installing), this approach will work for you.

    Selecting Save File saves the eBook to your computer. To read the eBook at a later time, open Adobe® Digital Editions, go to "File > Add to Library," locate and select the appropriate eBook file on your computer and click "Open." If your eBook files do not display immediately display in the folder where you know they are saved, make sure to select the "Adobe® Content Server Message" option under File Format.

How to find out when your eBook is due

To see how much longer you have access to an EBSCO eBook that you've checked out, before it is automatically returned to the EBSCO eBook Collection:

  1. From the EBSCOhost interface, sign in to your EBSCO account (skip this step if you are already signed in)
  2. Click on the "My Checkouts" link in the top menu bar
  3. Once you've identified the relevant eBook, click on the "Download" link that accompanies that particular title

The resulting pop-up window will display the length of time left before the eBook is automatically returned to the EBSCO eBook Collection.

Placing a hold on an eBook currently in use by someone else

If all copies of an EBSCO eBook with limited access are in use, the moment you attempt to either read the eBook online or try to download/check it out, you will encounter a “Sorry, this eBook is in use” message.

To be notified when a copy of that eBook is available for access, you can place a hold. on it.  From the pop-up window that displays, click on Place Hold.  If you are not already logged into your personal EBSCOhost account, you will need to sign in by clicking on the Sign In Now link provided.

  1. Sign into your My EBSCOhost account:

  2. Enter your e-mail address in the field provided and click the Place Hold button:

The eBook is placed in the Holds area of your My EBSCOhost Folder.

When the eBook becomes available, you are notified via the e-mail address you provided and the eBook appears in the Checkouts area of your folder.  You will still need to download the eBook and open it in Adobe Digital Editions in order to read it offline or transfer it to other mobile devices.

The Hold Queue line will tell you how many other individuals have placed a hold on that same title and are ahead of you, waiting for it to become available to access.