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Ebooks are electronic (online) versions of printed books. They are hosted online by external platforms such as VLeBooks, Ebook Central, Taylor & Francis or O'Reilly Online Learning.

Finding ebooks

On Library Search, books that say 'Available Online' are available as ebooks:

Common ebook issues

Not all titles are available as ebooks

Publishers decide whether to make individual titles available as ebooks for libraries to purchase, and how much to charge. Libraries cannot buy 'direct to consumer' ebooks, such as Kindle ones.

If you need to access a title as an ebook, but can't find it on Library Search, please fill in the request form and the Library team will check whether we can purchase it.

Limits on copying, downloading and printing

What you can do with an ebook varies depending on the platform, and the licence we own. There may be restrictions on copying text, printing or downloading chapters, or downloading whole ebooks.

Ebooks are protected by copyright, so usually you cannot give downloaded content to someone else, or upload it online.

Limits on number of users

Some ebooks have limits on how many people can use them at the same time.

If you see a message saying the ebook is in use, please try accessing it again in ten minutes or so - or the platform may let you 'reserve' it, and send you an email alert when the ebook is available.

Previewing ebooks

You may see a 'Preview' button on some ebooks on the VLeBooks platform. These ebooks will be automatically purchased only if they are used.

Click 'Preview' to access the whole ebook. After five minutes, a pop-up will appear, asking if you want to 'Request Access'. If you do, the ebook is purchased behind the scenes, and when you next access it, you will see 'Read Online' instead of 'Preview'.

Broken links, error messages and access problems

We recommend accessing ebooks via links on your reading list, or via Library Search. These routes should tell the platform that you are from Leeds Trinity University, and so are allowed to use ebooks that the Library has purchased.

If you can't access an ebook, close your browser and re-open it, then search for the ebook on Library Search, click through to the platform and see if you can access it.

If you still can't access it, please contact us giving the title of the ebook, and a description of the problem. Include error messages and screenshots if possible.

Free ebooks

Some ebooks are freely available - for example, those published via Open Access, or those that are old enough to be out of copyright.

Library Search includes many free ebooks that may be useful for you, so that you can search one place to find most of the ebooks available. Open Access ebooks are on platforms such as DOAB (Directory of Open Access Books).

Out-of-copyright ebooks are generally easier to find via search engines, on websites such as Project Gutenberg or Hathi Trust.

Accessibility of online resources

Ebooks, journals and databases often have read aloud functions, options to change the text and background, and other accessibility features. The Accessibility of online resources guide includes an overview of features available on our most popular ebook platforms and databases.

Service alerts

If you encounter errors or problems accessing an online resource, please report the problem.

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