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How to download ebooks


Authorized users of Concordia University Library can download selected ebooks in PDF format onto their personal computers from the Ebook Central and EBSCOhost platforms. These downloaded ebook files can then be transferred onto a variety of mobile reading devices (including iPads) for offline use. Ebooks can also be downloaded directly to iPad tablets that have the appropriate app installed. Some titles in Ebook Central and EBSCOhost are unavailable for downloading. Users must be connected to the Concordia network in order to access downloadable ebooks.

Note: The instructions below currently apply only to the Ebook Central and EBSCOhost platforms. Many other ebook platforms accessible to Concordia users permit downloading and viewing of ebooks in standard PDF format.

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Ebook downloads with Adobe Digital Editions

Currently, selected ebooks accessed on the Ebook Central and EBSCOhost platforms can be downloaded in their entirety in PDF format by authorized Concordia Library users, using a free software package called Adobe Digital Editions.

Download Adobe Digital Editions.

This software enforces Digital Rights Management (DRM) on the downloaded files, restricting the time period during which the ebook can be used, as well as the number of devices (6) to which it can be transferred; there may also be restrictions on the number of pages that can be printed.

When the "lending term" for the ebook has expired, the file remains on the computer or mobile device but can no longer be opened. It is not possible to renew the "loan", but the ebook may be downloaded again and used for another lending term. If you are finished using a downloaded ebook before the lending term expires, you can "return" the file from Adobe Digital Editions. In cases where access to an ebook is limited to a restricted number of users, "returning" the file will allow another user to view or download it.

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Downloading ebook files from ebook platforms

In order to download ebooks, you will need to set up a free account on the appropriate ebook platform (Ebook Central or EBSCOhost). Each platform requires its own account, and has its own procedure for selecting ebooks for downloading.

Once you have selected a title for downloading on the ebook platform, you may be asked to sign in to your platform account. When the download is activated, a control file with the .acsm filename extension will be made available for download. This file contains information that will govern the use of the actual ebook PDF file on your computer. If you have installed Adobe Digital Editions, opening this .acsm file instructs the program to download the ebook PDF file and open it in the Adobe Digital Editions interface.

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Transferring ebook files to authorized devices

Downloaded ebook files can be transferred to mobile devices via a free personal account (Adobe ID) that you set up with Adobe. This account can be created during Adobe Digital Editions installation, or afterwards from the program interface using the Authorize Computer… command on the Library menu. Once this is done, up to 6 mobile devices may be authorized with the same Adobe ID, allowing the ebook file to be transferred from the computer onto which it was downloaded. Some devices (such as the Sony Reader or Kobo eReader) can load the ebook PDF file directly; others, such as the iPad, iPhone or iPod, require an app such as Bluefire Reader in order to read the ebook.

While a mobile device can be authorized under different Adobe IDs, it is not possible to change the Adobe ID on the downloading computer.

In most cases, mobile ebook reader devices connected to your computer will be automatically detected by Adobe Digital Editions and displayed as "bookshelves" on the interface. To transfer an ebook PDF file to the device, drag and drop the ebook onto the appropriate "bookshelf". When using an app such as Bluefire Reader to view ebooks on Apple products, however, you will need to use iTunes to transfer ebook files: go to the Synch> Apps page and scroll down to see the available options for File Sharing. When adding ebooks to be transferred to the mobile device, make sure to choose the PDF file, not the .acsm file. By default, downloaded ebook PDF files are saved to the My Digital Editions folder.

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Downloading ebook files directly to an iPad tablet

Alternatively, ebooks can be downloaded directly via a wireless connection to an iPad on which the Bluefire Reader app has been installed.

Download Bluefire Reader (via iTunes).

When the download is activated from the ebook platform, you will see a prompt to open the .acsm control file in Bluefire Reader. Use this command to download the ebook file and open it. If the app has not already been authorized, you will be prompted to specify your Adobe ID. Once the file is downloaded, it will be available in the iPad's Bluefire folder.

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Further information

Platform-Specific Help Pages

Adobe Digital Editions Support Pages:

  • Adobe Digital Editions Help
  • Adobe Digital Editions FAQ
  • Adobe Digital Editions Support
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How does the library know when my borrowing time is over?
There is metadata in the PDF files, managed by Adobe Digital Editions. Metadata is necessary because of the terms of the lending agreement and copyright.

Do I have to be connected to the Internet to read the ebooks?
No, once you transfer the PDF to your mobile device, you no longer need to be connected to the Internet to read the ebook.

Are there any audio books available?
No, there are no audio books available through the library at this time through Concordia Library. However, the BANQ has close to 1200 audio books available through their website:

If I just want to read the ebook on my computer or on a library computer, do I need to download anything?
No, you can read the ebook online.

Can I use a computer in the library to download the ebook to transfer to my portable device?
No, you must use your own computer to download Adobe Digital Editions and the ebook to transfer to your device.

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