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Ebook Guide

Ebook tips and best practices

How to help reduce ebook turnaways, or busy signals

Many UA Libraries' ebooks are limited concurrent-user licenses (1-user, 3-user, and other types of licenses). Users might experience a busy signal, or turnaways, especially when multiple people are trying to access the resource at the same time.


Use our best practices to help ensure that ALL users can access these limited-license ebooks:

Best Practices  

  • Plan ahead! Download PDF chapters, where available (these PDFs are permanent in most cases, when saved). 
    • EBSCO and Ebook Central often have limits on the number of pages downloadable per day or per session.
      • ProQuest Ebook Central PDF count resets daily.
      • EBSCO resets per browser session, but could take up to 30 minutes to reset.
    • This is best done at the beginning of the semester - students can organize files for readings throughout the semester. Don't wait until the night before an assignment is due!
    • Must be done by each individual student and not the instructor due to fair use copyright law. 
  • Try not use "Download Book" for limited license titles- this takes the book out of circulation for others. Springer and Wiley ebooks are the exception, as they allow full downloads and you can keep the copies.
    • This is a temporary download and checks out the book up to 7 days.
  • Close browser/window when finished to make copy available to others. 
  • If only needed for a short period of time (e.g. a few minutes to check references), consider using the "read online" function (if there is one), rather than downloading.


Proquest Ebook Central 

How to print or download a chapter or page range

How to download a book for offline reading

Please note: 1 user licenses in Ebook Central are not available as full downloads. You can, in most cases, download chapter PDFs.

Adobe Digital Editions

Before setting up Adobe Digital Editions to download, read and transfer DRM-protected ebooks to other readers, you will need to: 

  1. Create an Adobe ID.
  2. Download and install Adobe Digital Editions onto the computer, smart device or eReader.
  3. Authorize Adobe Digital Editions on the computer, smart device or eReader with an Adobe ID.

Learn more about downloading Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) on different devices with this tutorial from San José Public Library. This comprehensive tutorial also includes information about tools available on ADE. 

Maximize your reading strategies with ebook tools

These resources offer similar tools that you might use when you are reading a print text, but are available as a digital tool. Use these tools to engage with text as you would with a print resource.

Ally - A learning tool within D2L that offers options for MP3 audio, HTML to create a web version for mobile devices, modify the text for reading, and more. 


Platforms and publishers offer a variety of annotation tools. These range from bookmarks to virtual sticky notes. 

Annotate in Preview on Macs

Ebook Central annotations 

Creating notes in EBSCO host

PowerNotes - A browser extension that allows you to highlight, add annotations, save citation information, collaborate with others, and more.

Annotating PDFs

Have a PDF that you cannot annotate?  Use OCR optimization to create an annotatable PDF.

Annotating PDFs in Adobe Acrobat

Online reading strategies

Read on a tablet - Reading on a computer can be challenging. You can download Adobe Digital Editions and EPubs for your phone or tablet, which may make reading easier. This allows more an interactive reading experience by highlighting and adding notes. 

Read out loud - Use a text-to-speech app or browser extension to have texts read out loud. 

Modify your screen - Changing the brightness of your screen can make a difference. BeeLine Reader, available in Ally, can help you read faster by using color gradients. 

Take notes - Taking notes can help you to absorb more information from reading an electronic resource on a screen. It can be harder to locate specific bits of information, so jotting down page numbers, paragraph numbers or other landmarks can help you find key information when needed. Ctrl+F is a useful tool for finding key words throughout the text as well. 

Try making a few bullet points or writing a summary at the end of the article or chapter. Using a concept map or taking notes using the Cornell method may help you synthesize information more efficiently. 

Microsoft's OneNote allows you to sort content; tag, annotate and highlight; record audio notes and insert online videos; take clippings from websites; and share your files.  

EBSCO books

Your book will automatically expire once the checkout period has ended. But you may return the book early using the following steps:

  1. Open Adobe Digital Editions and view your bookshelf.
  2. Right click on the item you'd like to return
  3. Select Return Borrowed Item
  4. Confirm by clicking Return once the dialog box opens


Find more detailed instructions, including different Adobe Digital Editions versions, at EBSCO's ebook return page.

Proquest / Ebook Central 

  1. 1-user titles are not available for full download.
  2. Proquest does not allow early return of multi-user items, through the title can be removed from your Library with Adobe Digital Editions. It will expire on the original due date selected when the item was checked out. 


UA Libraries' links: Links matter!

In order to access the full text of an ebook when you are off- campus, you need a permalink, also known as a stable link. These allow access from off-campus through UA authentication.

URLs from the webpage or from the main Library Search page are unauthenticated links and may not take you to the specific edition or version you need (some titles have multiple versions and editions).  Please do not use these as your link for course use.

screenshot with instructions to not choose permalink in Library search and to click on the resource link instead.

Please note: Emailed or bookmarked links do not always have the EZproxy link and may not allow access off-campus.

EZproxy Links

To ensure access to the resource as well as the tools that accompany ebooks, you will want the EZproxy link that will provide UA authentication. If you are an instructor and need help obtaining the correct link for your course, contact our Resources Help team. You can also use our exproxy tool and can find instructions on How to add course materials to your course site.

EZproxy link examples:

ProQuest/Ebook Central titles are the only links that do not show the EZproxy, but they are automatically configured for UA authentication:


DOI is a unique alphanumeric string that identifies content and provides a persistent link to its location on the internet. DOIs can be found in database records and the reference lists of published works. A DOI will not provide a UA authentication and is therefore not a reliable link for accessing the full text of a book unless it is accompanied by the ezproxy segment

Learn more about linking to UA Libraries' resources on our Course materials page. 

Learn more about linking and remote access on our Connecting to library resources page.


When pages don't load or links don't seem to work

Use our simple trouble-shooting tips to help you resolve your problem: 

  • Start your search from the UA Libraries' website
  • Do not use VPN - EZProxy authentication often does not work over a VPN connection. Use your NetID and password instead.
  • Clear your cache and cookies AND restart your browser before initiating the search again.

To clear your cache: In most computer-based web browsers, to open menus used to clear your cache, cookies, and history, press Ctrl-Shift-Delete (Windows) or Command-Shift-Delete (Mac).  If you don't see instructions below for your specific version or browser, search your browser's Help menu for "clear cache". 

  • Try a different browser
  • Try using an incognito window

You can learn more about accessing our resources remotely on our page Connecting to library resources.

For a more comprehensive explanation and additional issues, read Tips from Indiana University

Ebooks and accessibility

Ebook platforms and publishers

The UAL Electronic Book and Journal Accessibility webpage provides accessibility information for some of the larger platforms and publishers available at the UA Libraries. 

Tips and features for additional e-resources 

This guide offers publishers' policies and tips for using accessibility features of major UA Libraries online resources such as ebooks and databases.

Many of the databases available for University of Arizona Libraries users follow the standards of 29 U.S.C. 794d (more commonly known as Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act) and/or use Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) as part of the accessibility verification process.

Please contact the Library if you have questions about any of the Library's resources.

Accessibility tips for library resources

Assistive Technologies : UA Disability Resource Center

The UA Disability Resource Center hosts a wide range of support services and information about assistive technology and campus resources as well as services for students, instructors, and campus guests.  Please contact the DRC if you are experiencing any types of barriers on campus or in courses.

Ally for Students is a tool within D2L that provides options to access course readings in a variety of formats, such as an MP3 or html file, to better suit student learning needs. This is brought to you by the UA Disability Resource Center as a campus initiative to increase access and inclusion.

Instructors can connect with the Disability Resource Center to get started using Ally to improve the accessibility of your course technologies and content.

Many PDFs are not accessible

PDF files are typically created in Word, PowerPoint, or another program and converted to PDF, rather than being created with Acrobat. Therefore, the accessibility of the PDF will depend on the accessibility of the original document.

Learn how to create accessible PDFs in Word, Office, and PowerPoint.

The Creating Accessible Content webpage provides additional techniques and resources for creating content for all users.

Learn more about accessibility and course content from the Disability Resource Center.

Universal Design for Learning

Universal Design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design (Ron Mace, 1985). While this concept was born out of architecture and design, it’s also important in the learning environment.

Visit the Disability Resource Center's Universal Design webpage to learn about UD at the University of Arizona.

Learn more about Universal Design and resources available at the UA Libraries with this research guide.