Skip to Main Content

Find materials by type

Does the library have my required textbook as an ebook?

If you're a student, check your student booklist on the UA BookStores' website (see "How do I access my booklist?" under Textbook FAQ). For each textbook, select Check UA Library for ebook ». You can also look in the Library Tools on your D2L Brightspace course sites. Course ebooks will be featured in the upper right corner.

If you're an instructor and you submit your required course materials through the UA BookStores' textbook adoption process on time, the library will automatically check for an unlimited-user ebook version of your required textbook(s). We buy these whenever they're available. Unfortunately, ebook licensing works differently for academic libraries than it does for individual purchases. Publishers don't make most titles available to us as unlimited-user ebooks for course use. Instructors can check for ebook availability from the library before adopting a particular textbook.

It's very important for instructors to submit required textbooks through the UA BookStores' textbook adoption process each term, even if the ebook is available for free student use through the library (instructors should add a note about library ebook availability when submitting the textbook adoption form -- this helps the BookStores avoid buying too many copies).

The library does not have textbook reserves and textbooks are unavailable through interlibrary loan.

What devices can I use to view ebooks?

All ebooks are laptop and desktop friendly. Offline reading on mobile devices is possible with the following apps:

  • Bluefire Reader for Apple/Android
  • Adobe Digital Editions for Nook/Sony Readers
  • PDF Viewer in Kindle or other mobile devices
  • The ebook platform's app

Each individual ebook contains information about device support.

How many people can access an ebook at once?

The number of simultaneous users varies for individual ebooks. We buy unlimited-user access for courses whenever possible. Sometimes, only one person at a time can use an ebook. Please contact your librarian if you have questions about a specific title, especially for course use.

How can students in courses work together to minimize ebook turnaways?

For course use, the library can only guarantee access to unlimited-user ebooks. Students may find ebooks in library search with more restrictive licenses. Students are welcome to use these but should plan ahead to avoid access issues. Turnaways happen when a 1-user or 3-user license exceeds its maximum number of simultaneous users.

To reduce ebook turnaways:

  • Close the browser tab when you're done reading the ebook online. This will make the ebook available for another user.
  • Don't download the whole ebook at once (Springer and Wiley ebooks are exceptions — they allow you to easily download the entire ebook and keep it). 
  • Download chapters or pages instead of the full ebook (see "Get help" links below). In Ebook Central and EBSCO, there's often a limit on the number of pages you can download at once. This limit for EBSCO ebooks resets when you close the browser tab; the limit for Ebook Central ebooks resets each day. Eventually you can download all of the chapters as PDFs. With Ebook Central and EBSCO chapter downloads, the PDFs don't expire (they sometimes do with full-book downloads). 
  • If ebook content is the basis for homework or test questions, don't wait to access the ebook the night before! Plan ahead and download chapters in advance.

Can I download, save, or print borrowed ebooks?

Individual ebooks contain information about downloading, printing, and saving. Some ebooks can be downloaded for a specified period of time. But keep in mind that downloading an entire book may impact multi-user access, and may also require creating an account from the vendor's website and installing additional software.

The number of pages you can print or save also varies by provider. In general:

EBSCO Ebook Collection: Print up to 60 pages. Some publishers allow you to download the entire book for up to 21 days. EBSCO ebook help

ProQuest Ebook Central: Print up to 40% of books. Download entire books for 1-14 days, depending on publisher. ProQuest ebook help

O'Reilly (formerly Safari Books Online): You can print individual sections of a book. You cannot download an entire book. O'Reilly ebook help

ScienceDirect: Download each chapter (PDF) to print or save. ScienceDirect ebook help

SpringerLink: Download each chapter (PDF) to print or save. You can also download the entire book. SpringerLink ebook help

Wiley Online Library: Download each chapter (PDF) to print or save. You can also download the entire book. Wiley ebook help

How can I get help with ebook accessibility?

If you're having issues with a screen reader or other adaptive technology, please email the UA's Disability Resource Center at

Also check tips from these major ebook providers: