Along with our extensive print collection, the library also provides access to thousands of books made available in electronic format, sometimes called e-books or e-textbooks. These can be found by searching our OneSearch catalog, or a professor may provide you a direct link to an e-book for your class.
Just like print books, our e-books come from many different publishers. They are made available on different "platforms" so each e-book you try to access may look and navigate a little differently. Some may have check-out limits, or a limited number of users at a time. Some may allow you to print, some may not. The information for how you can interact with the e-book will appear in the record of that book depending which platform your book lives on. Included below is some information to help you navigate our e-book platforms.
So if it's not evident how to access an e-book, this guide may help, or be sure to contact the Reference Desk for assistance.
In general: What you can and can’t do with an e-book is described right in the e-book record. It will tell you if you can download the book, if you can print or not, if there is a user limit, what the check-out period is, etc. This is specific to the ProQuest Ebook Central and EBSCO Ebook platforms. Jstor and Project Muse are two other e-book platforms the library subscribes to, but have significantly easier to use platforms.
The rest of this guide will cover the following:
Reading online vs. downloading
E-books may be read online through the links provided in the e-book's record, and sometimes can be downloaded. To view the book, simply click on View Title (or similar wording). This will allow you to read the book using the platform's browser.
The advantage to downloading is that you can interact with the e-book in more ways, and in some instances, save a pdf of the e-book for later reading. To download an e-book, you first must create an account with the platform you're using, typically ProQuest Ebook Central or EBSCO Ebooks. This account is a different account from any of your BSU information, and in fact, if you do choose to create an account with these vendors, we strongly recommend that you do not use any personally identifiable information or any aspect of your Star ID or password. Note that these platforms are administered by a third party and are not affiliated with BSU. Additional steps to downloading an e-book may include downloading and installing the vendor’s electronic reader app. This information will be presented to you once you first try to download.
Checking out an e-book/e-textbook
In the ProQuest Ebook Central or EBSCO Ebooks platforms, you check out an e-book, just like you check out a physical book in the library. In some instances, the library has been able to purchase a copy that allows an unlimited amount of users to check out the e-book at the same time, in other cases, only 3 users at a time, or just 1 user at a time. These options have previously been set by the publisher and vendor.
If you find that the book is not accessible, it may be checked out. This information should be relayed to you on the screen.
When your time is up with an e-book that is a marked as a 1 or 3 users at a time book, it will simply be “returned” and made available to the next user; you need not do anything on your end. However, if you are done with the book before its “due date,” closing out your browser will make the book available sooner to the next user.
Finally, if you have a question that isn't answered by this guide, please don't hesitate to contact us. We're here to help!