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Using eBooks at Indiana University

Getting Started

An eBook is an electronic or digital book that is available for reading on your computer (desktop or laptop), tablet, or mobile device.   

The IU Libraries provide access to e-books from several different vendors.  Each vendor makes the e-book available through their own unique platform.



Each vendor also makes a title available based on licensing agreements made with the book’s publisher.


“Value added” features may differ from vendor to vendor.  And in some cases you may be required to create a free account with that vendor to access these features.


  • Printing – you will be limited to a specific number of pages because of copyright laws
  • Downloading (to read offline)


Some e-books are only available to one reader at a time (as when the library purchases just one copy of the print edition of a book).  Others may be available to more than one reader at a time (like when the library is able to purchase multiple copies of a print book).  Other e-books allow unlimited simultaneous readers.


Access to library e-resources is limited to the campus that paid for the resource. So in IUCAT, if IU Kokomo bought access to an e-book, but IU-Bloomington did not, IUB students, faculty and staff will not be able to read that e-book. E-resources are also not available through interlibrary loan.


E-books access is still in its infancy. When you encounter problems be sure to contact the IUB Libraries. You can fill out this form if you’re not in a particular hurry. Or you can come in person, chat, or call for assistance during reference service hours.