Skip to Main Content

How to Find and Use E-books: E-books FAQ

This guide contains information about how to find and access e-books at the Jerry Falwell Library.

Subject Guide

E-books FAQ

E - B O O K S    F A Q
1. What is an e-book?

E-books are electronic versions of print books, and they are hosted online.  Liberty University's e-books are accessible from a laptop or most mobile devices.

While e-books do not replace print, they have some advantages. E-books are:

1)     Full-text searchable

2)     Accessible off-campus

3)     Often available for simultaneous use by unlimited customers

2. Can I get library e-books on my Kindle Fire/iPad/nook/other mobile device…?
Yes! The library has access to over 200,000 e-books, most of which are downloadable in some form.
Depending on the device you have, you’ll have different options and different instructions. For example, *entire* e-books from EBSCO eBooks or Ebook Central can be downloaded to all devices but the Kindle Keyboard / Kindle Touch / Kindle Paperwhite. This is because of a Digital Rights Management conflict with the device. You can, however, download a chapter PDF from EBSCO eBooks or Ebook Central and put that on your device.  For download instructions, please see the bottom of this FAQ page.
3. How do I find e-books?
You can find e-books by going to the library website, limiting your search to Books in the box below Find "Find Resources.", and selecting the "E-book" option below the search bar
4. What does it mean when a library e-book says “Sorry, this e-book is in use” or doesn’t let me view it?
When the library purchases e-books, they come with license terms. In many cases, the license terms limit the use of the e-book to one person at a time, just as if it were a print book. If we see that an e-book is getting a lot of “turnaways” (people getting denied access to the e-book), we will look into purchasing extra copies. If someone is just viewing the e-book, it will be available again relatively soon. If someone has “checked out” the e-book, it will be unavailable for 14 days at the most, usually 7 days.
Publishers apply these limitations to library e-books sometimes because they are trying to imitate the print world limitations. Libraries, publishers, and vendors are still figuring out what the best business model is for library e-book purchasing so there will be a lot of change still to come.
5. Why is EBSCO eBooks opening each page of this e-book in a separate PDF? Or, why does the EBSCO eBook have = instead of spaces in the e-book text?
This is a known problem with EBSCO eBooks if Adobe Reader/Acrobat has been mis-configured.  EBSCO has some instructions for fixing these problems:
6. Can the library order e-books from Amazon?

We cannot order e-books from Amazon. All e-books are sold with certain licensing terms, and Amazon's licensing terms specify that their e-books can only be used for “personal use.” Since the library shares its e-books with many, many people, we would be violating the terms of the license if we bought from Amazon.

However, the e-book you want might be available through library purchasing channels. Just send an email with the bibliographic information for the book to the library.


7. How do I put an e-book on hold?

Usually if you are putting an e-book on hold, you are trying to use an EBSCO e-book. You cannot put an e-book on hold through the library catalog.

Instead, you will need to create a personal account on the EBSCO e-books site (or sign in if you already have one). Then, when you try to access the e-book, you will be asked if you want to put it on hold. You will receive an email once it is available. It will be unavailable for 7 days at the most.
8. I am getting a "no available tokens" error on Bluefire Reader. How do I fix it?

This seems to happen on Android smartphones because Bluefire tries to open the file before it has completed downloading.  Other libraries have told their users to close Bluefire and open it again. If that doesn't work, download the free "ES File Explorer" app, look in Bluefire --> Imports folder or conduct a search for a word in the title of the e-book, and click on the file. It should be a .acsm or a .pdf file. Use the Open With Bluefire reader action and it should successfully open. Please contact us if you continue to have problems.  
9. How do I download an e-book?
The answer depends on the site from which you're downloading the book. Most of our e-book sites have "download" buttons that will give you a simple PDF of what you're trying to download. Two of our largest e-book sites, ProQuest Ebook Central and Ebsco Ebooks, make it more complicated. Here are instructions for downloading books from those sites: