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Databases Help

Information about how to access online databases, eBooks, eJournals and other library resources that are available to current EKU Library students, faculty, and staff.

EBSCOhost eBooks error workaround

Trouble accessing EBSCO eBooks?


Some web browsers are known to have a hard time recognizing script components in certain eBooks. Because of this, you will need to go through a "load unsafe scripts" protocol. Screen casts are available that illustrate the correct protocol to correct this issue in FirefoxChrome and Internet Explorer browsers.

Introduction to eBooks

This guide explains how to access eBooks provided by EKU Libraries (now numbering over 200,000 titles).

All of these eBooks can be viewed online from any computer with an internet connection.  Most eBooks can be downloaded for offline reading on computers or mobile devices, including ereaders and tablets. These directions can appear complex, but once you get your device and accounts all set up, downloading quality scholarly eBook content linked on EKU Libraries' website will be quick and relatively simple. As always, if you have any questions, please ASK US.

Read Online or Download?

Read online is best if...

You are working on your desktop computer.  Look for the "Read Online" or "eBook Full Text" links.  Also, most eBook providers allow you to take notes online, and will store your notes if you have an account with them.

Download is best if...

You want to read the eBook on your mobile device or tablet. Bluefire Reader, the recommended reading app for downloaded eBooks, allows you to take notes and export them* when you are done with the eBook.

*Make sure to export your annotations before the checkout period expires.*

While you can download an eBook to your desktop computer and read it within Adobe Digital Editions, it does not permanently store your notes.  Once the checkout period for the eBook expires, any notes you took within Adobe Digital Editions will disappear. 

Before you download...

Make sure you have personal accounts setup with our major eBook providers:

  • EBSCOhost: 

            You will be prompted to create a MyEBSCOhost account when you download an eBook.

  • ProQuest:

    You are set! Your account is tied to your EKU email login – no need to create a separate account.

What device are you using?

  • Apple and Android

  • eReaders

  • Get an Adobe ID

  • Download Adobe Digital Editions to your computer

  • Authorize Adobe Digital Editions with your Adobe ID

  • Authorize eReader with Adobe ID

  • Connect eReader to computer

  • Launch Adobe Digital Editions on your computer

  • Adobe Digital Editions should prompt you to authorize your eReader with your Adobe ID

  • Kindle - Downloading is not an option

    • Can send PDF pages to your Kindle reader - see the Kindle tab

All eBooks are discoverable in the library catalog:

Alternatively, you can browse the collections on the publisher platforms:



Checkout Period

Mobile Devices Tablets eReaders

Simul-taneous Users  

Timeout Period




Yes - entire ebooks (most eBooks are downloadable*)

Requires My EBSCOhost account

*Some publishers do not allow downloads

Up to 2 days

Adobe eBook DRM-compliant devices

Unlimited for most eBooks

1 user at a time for a small number of eBooks

Check the Concurrent User Level information on the EBSCOhost eBook landing page.

30 minutes of inactivity

Generally up to 60 pages*

*Individual publishers may set different limits


eBook Library (EBL)


Up to 7 days

Adobe eBook DRM-compliant devices


20 minutes of inactivity



Business Expert Press

No limit - can download and/or save entire ebook

no limit

Yes - needs PDF reading capabilities



No limit - can print entire ebook


Oxford Scholarship Online

1 chapter (in PDF)

Does not apply

Yes - needs PDF reading capabilities



1 chapter


Cambridge Companions Online

1 chapter or 5% of the eBook (in PDF), whichever is the greater

Does not apply

Yes - needs PDF reading capabilities



1 chapter or 5% of the eBook, whichever is the greater


Safari Tech eBooks


Does not apply

Yes - needs PDF reading capabilities

2 users at a time


1 page at a time


DRM - Digital Rights Management

DRM is the method eBook providers use to prevent copying, sharing, or to limit the amount of time you can download a book. It is different from the file format and set by the site where you download the eBook.

Different eBook providers use different DRM schemes which can limit which device you can use.

Common DRM schemes:

  • Adobe Digital Editions (encoded PDF)

  • Amazon (Kindle or Kindle apps)

  • Apple iBooks (iOS only)

  • Barnes & Noble (Nook)


PDF files can be read on most any device. However, many eBook providers add Adobe eBook DRM restrictions to the PDF files which require you to download Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) or an ADE compatible app like BlueFire Reader.

Compatible devices:

  • Apple Devices (ADE)

  • Android Tablets (ADE)

  • Amazon Kindle

  • Nook (ADE)


ePub is a free and open eBook standard format. It is compatible with most eReaders and tablets with the exception of the Amazon Kindle.

Compatible devices:

  • Apple devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch)

  • Android devices

  • Kindle Fire

  • Nook

  • Sony Reader

  • Kobo


Amazon eBooks use the AZW file format and Amazon's DRM. You must use a Kindle device to read it.

Amazon offers Kindle apps for most tablets and smartphones and a Cloud Reader to read E-Books from your PC or Mac.

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