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Downloading an entire ebook onto your personal computer or mobile device gives you the convenience of being able to read the ebook offline. A limited number of publishers allow users to download entire ebooks freely and without restrictions. These publishers are often government, intergovernmental or non-governmental organizations (e.g. Government of Canada Publications, OECD Library, Conference Board of Canada).
More commonly, ebook publishers either do not allow full ebook downloads, or they allow entire ebooks to be downloaded only for a specific period of time (sort of like 'borrowing' a print book from the Library). See Borrowing an Ebook below for more information.
Some publishers limit the pages that can be downloaded to a certain number or percentage of the entire work. For example, the ebook provider ProQuest Ebook Central limits the number of downloadable pages, but the percentage of the work available to download varies from ebook to ebook.
Some ebooks must be "borrowed" for offline reading. Borrowing an ebook means downloading it onto your computer (or mobile device) for a specific period of time controlled by digital rights management (DRM). The borrowing period is managed by an ebook reader software program called Adobe Digital Editions (ADE). In order to borrow ebooks, you must first sign up for a free Adobe ID.
Here are three of the main ebook providers offering ebook borrowing, along with their borrowing periods:
Ebook borrowing is not available on all ebook platforms. If you have any questions about ebook borrowing, please contact your liaison librarian.
Before borrowing an ebook from any of the above providers, you must first download and install Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) onto your computer. ADE manages the borrowing period and provides a platform on which to read the book offline.
After installing ADE onto your computer, you should refer to the borrowing instructions given by the ebook provider.
Before borrowing an ebook on your mobile device from any of the above providers, you must first install the Bluefire reader app for iOS or the Cloudshelf Reader app for Android or Adobe Digital Editions app for Android onto your device. The Bluefire reader manages the borrowing period and provides a platform on which to read the ebook.
After installing Bluefire onto your mobile device, you should refer to the borrowing instructions given by the ebook provider.