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eBook Resources

Ebooks can be a great way to way to add OER content to your class. Avila has several different ebook subscriptions, each with their own licensing restrictions and service models. In addition, many ebook providers grant  free / open access to ebook collections. Below is a guide to Avila's  ebook subscriptions and free/ open online ebook collections.

A. E-Book resources available at Avila

Tips for Finding eBooks at the Avila Learning Commons

Thousands of ebooks are available to Avila faculty, students, and staff. There are different ways for you to find and discover them.

  • Click the link to the Avila Library website/online catalog  to find ebooks available through MOBIUS. Search by title, keyword, ISBN, and etc. ...32000 ebooks are available.

  • Click the link to the EBSCO "basic search" screen to find EBSCONET ebooks. Search by title, keyword in the title, or ISBN...175000 ebooks are available.

  • Click the link to the "eMo (EBSCO Academic Online Books) online database, in the "Alphabetical List of Online Databases" webpage to find eMO ebooks. Search by title, keyword in the title, or ISBN...307000 ebooks are available.

  • Click the link to the "eBook Collection (EBSCO) online database, in the "Alphabetical List of Online Databases" webpage to find eMO ebooks. Search by title, keyword in the title, or ISBN...227000 ebooks are available.

C. Reading EBSCO eBooks on a Desktop or Laptop or a Tablet Computer

Reading EBSCO eBooks from an Avila Desktop or Laptop or Tablet Computer

The easiest, most efficient way to read an EBSCO eBook from an Avila Learning Commons online database is to use the “built-in” eBook Viewer found in each EBSCO database. EBSCO’s online eBook Viewer supports eBook reading on Avila desktop or laptop computers, and also on tablet devices.

To use the eBook Viewer, find the Avila Learning Commons website, find the “Need Books” button…and click it.

In the “Find a Book/ eBooks” section of links, find the “eMO –EBSCO Academic Online Books” link and click it.

In the top search-input box, search for a book on “adhd” …by title

Click on the title of the first eBook in the list to view the detailed record of the eBook.

In the detailed record of this adhd eBook, click on the “PDF Full-Text” button along the left side of the display window… to read the eBook in the EBSCO eBook Viewer.

Below, the eBook is displayed in the EBSCO eBook Viewer for immediate on-screen access. In the viewer, you can email a set amount of pages as a PDF or in multiple page or page-range PDFs, save pages, take notes, and more. Some eReader services may require you to create an EBSCO account (if you have not previously done so) and sign in.
If you are signed in, any notes that you take online will be available to you next time you sign in and view the eBook online. Note the toolbar on the top side of the viewer allows you to search, annotate, use the dictionary, save pages, email pages, add the title to your folder, cite the eBook, and export citations.

The eBook-reading tools are located at the bottom of the viewer.

You can navigate pages using the arrows at the bottom of the eBook viewer, or jump to a page by typing in the page number in the page navigation box and clicking Go. You can also jump to a chapter using the table of contents on the left side of the Viewer. Alternatively, you can slide the location slider above the page navigation arrows to flip through the book.

The eBook Viewer toolbar located at the bottom of the Viewer has the following functions: full screen view, fit page width, fit page, and page zoom.

The “table of contents” for each eBook is located at the bottom of the detailed record page, as a navigational tool.

How many Concurrent Users does an EBSCO eBook allow?

To determine the number of concurrent users (aka the number of copies per EBSCO eBook title available for simultaneous access by different users), go to the detailed record of an EBSCO eBook and locate the entry Concurrent User Level towards the bottom of the record (depending on the screen size of your device, you may have to scroll down to locate the relevant information).

For EBSCO eBook titles that only allow a limited number of concurrent simultaneous users, the Concurrent User Level entry will read Limited User Access followed by number of copies available.

Most Avila EBSCO eBooks allow up unlimited user access, which means there are MANY copies of the same title available for access.

Only a select number of EBSCO eBook titles are available for unlimited simultaneous user access.

EBSCO eBooks - User Guide

EBSCO eBook Support Link

D. Downloading an EBSCO eBook to a Desktop or Laptop Computer

Downloading EBSCO eBooks to a Desktop or Laptop Computer

EBSCOhost eBooks gives you several different options for viewing an eBook. Select the method below that works the best for your needs.

Preliminary steps before you can download an eBook:

  1. Create an Adobe ID / account

  2. Download and install the Adobe Digital Editions software from

  3. Create a MyEBSCOhost account after opening an EBSCO online database.


Step 1: Get an Adobe ID

EBSCOhost ebooks are copy-protected using Adobe Digital Rights Management (DRM). Consequently, you will need an Adobe ID to authorize your access to the ebooks you download from EBSCOhost. You only have to do this step once.

  • Go to

  • Click the “Sign in” link on the top right side of the page.

  • Click the “Get an Adobe ID” link.

  • Fill out the Sign up form then click the “Sign Up” button to complete the registration. The email address you supply will become your Adobe ID. Use this, and the password you create to access content in the Adobe Digital Editions application. 

  • Write down your Adobe ID and Password.


What is an Adobe ID, and how can I get one?

An Adobe ID is a free user account that lets you download DRM-protected eBooks in Adobe Digital Editions, in the OverDrive app, and on supported eReaders.

You can use one Adobe ID to download the same eBooks on up to six devices, as long as you've authorized each device with the same Adobe ID.

If you don't have an Adobe ID, you can create one on Adobe's website. You'll also have the opportunity to create an Adobe ID when you install Adobe Digital Editions on a computer.

Some notes

  • If you transfer an eBook from your computer to a supported eReader using Adobe Digital Editions, your eReader will be automatically authorized with the same Adobe ID  you used to authorize Adobe Digital Editions.


Step 2: Download Adobe Digital Editions

Download the Adobe Digital Editions reader application from Adobe’s website (Mac OS or Windows versions available). You will need this (free) application to view the ebooks you checkout and download from EBSCO. The process will be smoother if you already have this software on your computer before you attempt the first ebook download. You only have to do this step once.

Launch the Installer and follow the instruction prompts to complete the installation. Once the installation is complete launch Adobe Digital Editions. You will be prompted to enter your Adobe ID and password to authorize your computer. This will also prepare your computer to recognize Adobe Digital Editions as the default application for opening EBSCO ebooks. Here is a screenshot of the open application.

 Step 3: Create a My EBSCOhost account

As indicated above, if you are a currently registered Avila University student, faculty, or staff member you do not need to create an account to view an EBSCOhost ebook online. Simply click the “PDF Full Text” link to launch the ebook viewer in your web browser.

However, if you want to checkout and download an EBSCOhost ebook to your computer for later offline reading in Adobe Digital Editions you will need to create a “My EBSCOhost” account. You only have to do this step once.

To set up a My Ebscohost account:

  1. Click the Sign In in the top toolbar of the screen in an EBSCO online database.

  2. From the Sign In Screen, click the Create one now link.

  1. The Create Account Screen appears. Fill in the fields on the Create Account Screen.

When you create a new My EBSCOhost folder account, or are updating the existing password for your account, you are required to create a strong password.

As you begin to enter a new value into the password field, the strength indicator will reflect how strong your password is using both color and strength value (red X=weak vs. green checkmark=strong).

When your password meets the requirements, the indicator displays that your password is strong and you can retype the password in the next field to confirm it.

  1. Check the box to consent to EBSCO's Personal Data Retention and Usage policy.

You can read the Personal Data Retention and Usage policy by clicking the link. If you opt to not consent to the policy, you will be unable to continue creating an account.

  1. When you have completed filling out your information, click Continue.

  2. If your information was accepted, a message appears that confirms your account has been created. To log into your account, click the Click here link and provide your login credentials. You should note the username and password you created so you can log in at a future session.

Note: When signing in to My ESBSCOhost with your credentials, enter the username you created or your email address if you opted to use that as your username.

You now have everything you need to download and read EBSCOhost ebooks on your computer. Let’s download an ebook now!


Step 4: Downloading a DRM ebook from EBSCO

NOTE: These instructions apply only to ebooks in EBSCOhost eBook Collections (The Avila Learning Commons also provides ebooks from other publishers. Those ebooks cannot be downloaded to your computer using these instructions).

Launch the EBSCOhost eBook Collection from the Learning Commons website and search for a book. Here’s one that looks interesting:

  1. Click the Download icon for the eBook you would like to download.

If you are not logged into your My EBSCOhost folder, you are prompted to do so.

  1. Select a Download duration from the drop-down menu and confirm that you have Adobe® Digital Editions or equivalent reader software installed. (If you are on a tablet device, you must confirm that you have Bluefire Reader or an equivalent app installed.)

Note: For some titles, you may see the option to select either the PDF or ePub format for an eBook.

  1. Click the Download button.

The eBook is added to the Checkout area of the folder, accessible from the upper-right corner of the EBSCOhost interface.

  1. Select to Open or Save the file from the resulting dialog box.

If you Open the file, your eBook is opened with Adobe® Digital Editions.

If you Save the file, the eBook is saved to your computer and can be opened with Adobe® Digital Editions at a later time.

  1. When a downloaded eBook is opened, it is displayed in Adobe® Digital Editions.


  • If when trying to download an eBook to Digital Editions you receive the following error message, E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12, you may need to completely remove any authorization using ctrl-shift-D to Adobe Digital Editions (cmd-shift-D if on Mac). Then restart Digital Editions, and reauthorize with your Adobe ID.

  • (Or, call Larry Kramer at 501-3712,and he can ”reauthorize” your account.

  • When downloading an eBook using the Chrome browser, the download will not automatically open but appears in the download bar at the bottom of the browser as URLLink.acsm. Click the download in the bar and select Open to open the eBook or select Always open files of this type to automatically open future EBSCO eBooks downloads in ADE

  • Downloading a DRM-Free eBook

Some EBSCO eBooks that may be offered by your institution do not have DRM (Digital Rights Management) restrictions. These eBooks do not require you to sign into My EBSCOhost to download them. In addition, no Adobe® ID or special software such as Adobe Digital Editions or Bluefire reader is necessary to download and read them.

DRM-Free EBSCO eBooks can be opened with Adobe® Acrobat or any software that supports PDF or EPUB files and there are no restrictions on printing, saving, or copying.

 To download a DRM-Free eBook:

  1. Click the Download icon for the eBook you would like to download.

  1. Select a Download Format (if available) and click the Download button.

  1. Select to Open or Save the file from the resulting dialog box.

If you Open the file, PDF eBooks are opened with Adobe® Reader. EPUB eBooks will open with Adobe® Digital Editions (if installed).

If you Save the file, the eBook is saved to your computer and can be opened with Adobe® Reader/Adobe® Digital Editions at a later time.

E. Downloading EBSCO eBooks on a Mobile Device

Downloading EBSCO eBooks on a Mobile Device

  • Books can be downloaded to your mobile device and read with the Adobe Digital Editions or the  Bluefire Reader software apps

  • Please note: downloading ebooks is not required to read them. You can read the ebooks within the database right from your computer.

  • For iOS products (iPod, iPhone, or iPad) and Android devices with a compatible web browser (some Kindles, Nooks, etc.):

    You will need to use the Bluefire Reader app and download eBooks wirelessly, without the Adobe Digital Editions software.  (However, you must have an Adobe ID.)  Bluefire works with Adobe to allow you to read the borrowed eBooks.  For more details, please refer to the EBSCO eBooks help page and to Bluefire Reader's web site.

 Downloading a DRM-eBook on a Mobile Device: Preliminary Steps

1.  Know your Apple ID for iTunes, or, know your Google Play ID… if you need to download these software apps onto your mobile device.

2.  Create an Adobe ID / account…or Logon to your account. If you have previously created an Adobe ID to download and read EBSCO eBooks with Adobe Digital Editions on your desktop computer, you then already have an Adobe ID that you can use to authorize the Bluefire app: Create an Adobe ID at the following link:

If you forgot your Adobe ID password, see the following link:

3.  Download and install the Adobe Digital Editions software from…if needed… from your device's app store.

4.  Download and install the Bluefire Reader software…if needed… from your device's app store.

Note: You must authorize the Bluefire app with your Adobe ID.

5.  Create a My EBSCOhost account…or sign into your My EBSCOhost account

Note for Apple Device Users:  Pop-ups must be allowed in the settings for the Safari web browser as the downloaded eBook file opens in a new tab before opening in the Bluefire app.

Note: You will only need to authorize the BlueFire app with your Adobe ID once. After this has been done, you will only need to tap Download any time you wish to download and read an eBook on your device.



To Authorize the App:

  1. Open the Bluefire app from your device's applications menu.

  2. Enter your Adobe ID and password in the fields provided.

  3. Tap Authorize.

Your device is now authorized to read EBSCO eBooks.


Checkout and Download an eBook on an Apple Device

Next, locate an eBook you wish to download to your device and use the following steps to download it.

To download an eBook:

1.  Use the Safari browser to search your institution's eBook Collection on EBSCOhost.

Note: Pop-ups must be allowed in the settings for the Safari web browser as the downloaded eBook file opens in a new tab before opening in the Bluefire app.

2.  In the eBook Collection (EBSCOhost) database, click on the "Download (Offline)" or "Download the eBook (Offline)" option below or next to the eBook you want to download:

3.  After you click the "Download (Offline)" or "Download the eBook (Offline)" option a pop-up box will appear asking you to sign in to your My EBSCOhost account (this is a free personal account within the database.

If you do not already have a My EBSCOhost account, use the "Create New Account" option to create an account. If you already have a My EBSCOhost account, use the "Sign in to My EBSCOhost" option.

4. After you have signed into your My EBSCOhost account, another pop-up box will appear. Click on the "Checkout & Download" button to download the ebook:

Remember: The maximum amount of time an ebook from EBSCO can be downloaded for is 7 days.

Please Note: There is a "Viewing Requirements" area on the pop-up box which provides more information about downloading ebooks to various devices and requirements for downloading ebooks.

5.  After you click on the "Checkout & Download" button a new pop-up box should appear indicating that you have successfully downloaded the ebook.

 6.  A box should then appear prompting you to open the ebook file in Adobe Digital Editions. Click "Ok" and the ebook should open in Adobe Digital Editions or Bluefire Reader for you to begin reading.


Checkout and Download an eBook on an Android Device

Locate an eBook you wish to download to your device and use the following steps to download it.

To download an eBook:

1.  Use your device's web browser to search your institution's eBook Collection on EBSCOhost. 

2. Tap the Download link for the eBook you would like to download.

If you are not logged into your personal My EBSCOhost folder, you are prompted to do so. 

3.Select a Checkout period from the drop-down menu.

4.  If multiple formats are available (PDF or EPUB), select the desired format and tap the Checkout & Download button.

The eBook is added to the Checkout area of your My EBSCOhost folder and begins to download to your device.

5.  After the download has finished, tap the downloaded eBook file from the pull-down menu at the top of your device's screen or from the Downloads area.

6.  Once the downloaded eBook opens in Bluefire, tap to view your library or begin reading the eBook.


  • After your eBook checkout expires, the eBook file is still be on your device but can not be opened. You must remove the file manually by opening Bluefire and selecting to remove it from your library.


Placing a Hold on an eBook

If the eBook you have chosen to download is in use by another patron, and if your library offers Holds capabilities, you have the opportunity to place a hold on the eBook to download when it becomes available.

Sign into your personal My EBSCOhost folder account (if not already signed in) and click Place Hold to be notified when that eBook is available for you to download.

The eBook is placed in the Holds area of your My EBSCOhost Folder. When the eBook is available, you are notified via the e-mail address associated with your account and the eBook appears in the Checkouts area of your folder.

F. General guidelines for using eBooks

This guide explains how to find and use ebooks in your research including instructions on  ebook platforms, and how to find a variety of ebooks and how to read them on your computer and/or download them to an e-reading device.

Tips by Category

Reading ebooks on your computer or mobile device can be accomplished through a variety of options. The following sections contain tips for devices, software, and popular file formats.

Access: Online vs. Download

Many ebooks provided by the Avila University Learnling Commons are accessible through a web browser, much like online-journal databases; however not all ebooks are available as downloads that can be viewed while offline. For example,some ebooks can be accessed offline as downloads to devices, but they often require both an Adobe ID and Adobe Digital Editions.


Things you need to consider when choosing a device:

  • Device Size: dimensions and weight determine portability.

  • Screen: screens range from 6 to 9.7 inches, are E Ink or backlit, and can feature touch options.

  • Battery Life: drastically different across devices, from ten hours to one month!

  • Access to Content: varying options for borrowing from Avila and buying from a retailer.

  • Network Access: WiFi and 3G are common options.

  • Software: features (highlight, bookmarks, searching) and operating system features (dictionary, apps).

  • Storage: quantity of megabytes/gigabytes are offered, along with cloud storage.

  • Price: Prices are dropping, so use a buying guide or a comparison chart to find a release date and whether it will see a price drop or upgrade. Prices range vary for ereaders and tablets.

Backlit Display (multi-functional tablets with color screens)

More Tips for Ereaders

  • Converting PDFs to EPub or Kindle Files

    Step by step instructions on converting a PDF so that it can be read on your Kindle or other device. Use your favorite web search for html to epub or kindle for that info.

  • EBSCOhost ebooks Instructions on viewing ebooks on your computer and downloading Books to portable devices (must be compatible with Adobe Digital Editions).


Software can be dedicated to one device or accessible across platforms, letting you access accounts and ebooks on multiple devices. The following is a list software and supported platforms:

  • Kindle software

    • Available for Windows, OS X, iOS, BlackBerry, Android, and Windows Phone 7

  • Nook apps

    • Available for Windows, OS X, iOS, and Android

  • Google eBooks

    • Available on Android, iOS, iriver Story HD, and on any browser with Javascript enabled

  • Adobe Digital Editions

    • Available for Windows, OS X, iOS, Android

  • iBooks

    • Available on iOS

File Formats

Popular file format for downloadable ebooks

  • Kindle (.azw)

  • Comic Book Archive (.cbr, .cbz)

  • DjVu  (.djvu)

  • EPUB (.epub)

  • Portable Document Format (.pdf)

  • Plain text (.txt)

G. EBooks from Kansas City Area Libraries

Mid-continent Public Library

Kansas City Public Library

Hoopla (by Kansas City Public Library)

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