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Getting Started with E-books

This guide provides an introduction to the different ebook collections available to LSC-University Park users, including how to find, access, and download books.

EBSCO Ebook Collection Quick Facts

EBSCOhost is one of our most prominent database providers, offering information on nearly every subject in numerous formats. If you haven't done so already, you should create an EBSCO account. You'll need an account to download e-books from the EBSCO database. From any EBSCO access page, click "Sign In" on the top right of the screen. Click on "Create a new Account". For convenience, you may use your Lone Star email and password to set up the account.

Contains Full e-books on a range of topics, including arts and humanities, sciences, social sciences, business, technology, history, language and literature.
Best for Academic reading and research.
Multi-user? Most books are only available to a single user at a time.
Printing Limits Up to 100 pages at a time. Permissions vary by title, determined by the publisher.
Download Limits Download chapters or whole books for 1-7 days in PDF format. User account required to download. Books can be read online without check-out.

What You Need to Read

In order to access EBSCO eBooks on any device, you will need:

  • a browser, such as Chrome or Firefox, or
  • your library barcode (located on the back of your college ID/ library card) 
  • an EBSCO account, if you wish to download books for offline viewing 

Please note that, on any device, you can read EBSCO eBooks in the browser without creating an EBSCO account or downloading extra software. However, you cannot take notes, save your place, or read offline.

Picture of LSC ID, Chrome logo, Firefox logo, and Safari Browser logo

In order to download EBSCO eBooks to read on your PC or Mac, you'll need to download Adobe Digital Editions. This free software will allow you to read ACSM (Adobe Content Server Manager) files on your desktop. 

If you wish to use your EBSCO eBook across multiple viewing platforms, for instance on your computer and on your iPad, you will need to use an Adobe ID for this authorization. Creating an Adobe ID is free and easy. Use an email address you will remember and have access to, as this will also be your Adobe ID. Once you have authorized your devices using your Adobe ID, your checkouts and bookmarks will remain across devices. You may also authorize your computer without an Abobe ID; simply choose to authorize without a vendor ID and continue reading. You will not have cross-device compatibility without an ID.

To get started, click on the title of the eBook you want to read.

Notice the area with publisher permissions. These may vary from book to book. For this title, you may print or save 60 pages without violating copyright. Only one user may download the book at a time, but an unlimited number of users may read the book online. You have two options: you may read the book online in PDF format or you may download the book to read offline at a later time.


You can read the book online in PDF format. Use the menu bar on the left-hand side of the screen to jump to a different chapter or section. You can save, e-mail, or print up to the allowed number of pages for the book. 

The Bluefire Reader enables you to read eBooks on your mobile device. The app is available through the iTunes App Store or Google Play.


Read the step-by-step instructions on EBSCO's website
for more information on that process.



In order to read EBSCO ebooks on your Kindle reading device, or using the Kindle reading app, you can create a PDF of the eBook in full text view and transfer using Send To Kindle. Depending on licensing, you may only be able to save a small portion of the book to pdf.

Nooks, Kobos, etc.

For other eReader devices, you will need to authorize Adobe Digital Editions on your computer and transfer the files manually. This requires a free Adobe ID. Use an email address you will remember and have access to, as this will also be your Adobe ID. Once you have activated the software on your computer, you are ready to download. Follow the instructions on the tab "For PC/Mac" to download a book to Adobe Digital Editions.  

How To...

This is an easy process -- you just have to know where to look!

1. Click into the item record of your desired book -- this just cleans clicking on the book title from your search results.

Click the article title, the first and largest text in the search result.


2. Without opening the book, scroll down about halfway. At the bottom of the book information (after author, publication year, summary, etc) you'll find a line with information for Concurrent User Access. This lets you know how many people can borrow or read the book at the same time: it could be 1 user, 3 users, unlimited users, or other variations.

Towards the middle of the page is a piece of information labeled "concurrent user access." It will say 1 user or 365 users or unlimited, for example.

Get Set-Up With Accounts & Software

1. Create a user account in EBSCOHost. To do this, click "Sign In" on the upper right-hand corner of the page and follow the steps to create an account. You may use your Lone Star username and password for convenience.

2. Download Adobe Digital Editions version 4.5.4 for your PC or Mac.

3. Create an Adobe ID. You will need this in order to read EBSCOHost eBooks in Adobe Digital Editions. Again, you may want to use your Lone Star email and password for ease of use.

Downloading from the Database

4. When you're looking at the book you want to download, the you may have a couple choices. Some books are available as only pdf, only epub, or both (for online reading), and there'll be a separate link for downloading the book to read offline.

Screenshot of item record: file formats and download link are on the left side of the screen.

5. Click the link to Download This eBook (Offline).

You will be prompted to choose a checkout period (1-7 days), though this may vary by title. You'll be able to choose between pdf or epub format for your download.

6. Click the Checkout & Download button.

Screenshot of download choices: number of days is in a  dropdown, while format is a radio button.


  • EPUB is relatively new and is quickly becoming the standard format for e-books. PDF is the old format. (Note: Amazon Kindle does not support the epub standard.)
  • PDF can be read in exactly the same format as the print version of the book. For this reason, it is better for viewing on your PC or Mac. EPUB is optimized for viewing on mobile devices. 
  • PDF format eBooks can be edited for highlighting, note taking, and annotating in Adobe Acrobat. EPUB has no such capability.

7. Your browser will open up a window to give you a choice of where to save the file. Your file will download in a .acsm format (Adobe Content Server Message).

ACSM file save dialog window - you may choose to rename the file

Getting the Book into Adobe

8. In Adobe Digital Editions, log in to your Adobe account if needed. (Refer back to step 3, if needed.) The .acsm file talks to this program to get your e-book.

Sign in to Adobe Digital Editions with your Adobe ID and password.

9. Your library e-book should be available in to read in Adobe Digital Editions. You can read it offline at any point within the checkout period.