Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

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.

Gale Ebooks Quick Facts

Using Gale Ebooks (formerly Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL)) is rather like using the reserve collection at the library; the book in its entirety must remain in the library/database, but you can copy a section of the text to keep and take with you.

Contains Sources include subject encyclopedias, almanacs, and other reference sources on a wide range of topics.
Best for General topic searching for background info.
Multi-user? An unlimited number of users can view and download chapters from the database. There is no loan period. You can download a chapter and access it any time from any device.
Printing Limits Download and print a chapter at a time.
Download Limits Download any chapter in PDF format. View on any electronic device that enables you to read a PDF file.

What You Need

In order to access the Gale Virtual Reference Library, you will need a web browser (such as Chrome or Firefox) and a PDF document reader (such as Adobe Reader). Most devices will have an application for both of these functions already installed.

If you are not using a campus computer, you will need to log in with your Lone Star College library barcode to access the database.

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

Using the Gale Virtual Reference Library on your PC or Mac is simple. Enter your search terms, find a result you like, and read!

Gale VRL does give you the option to download your selection as a PDF, allowing you to print, save, or transfer your reading to another device. You have the option to save the chapter to Google Drive or OneDrive or listen to the reading selection, either online or by downloading the file as an MP3.


Begin your search in the Gale Virtual Reference Library by entering your search term or terms in the dialog box. Use your Boolean operators (and, or, not) to refine your search.

Using the browser software on your mobile device, you may browse and search eBooks in the Gale Virtual Reference Library by navigating to the E-books & Reference section of the Lone Star College - University Park Library website. Click on "General" and select "Gale Virtual Reference Library" from the list. If you are attempting to access the database from an off-campus location, you will need to sign in using your student ID and password. 

To save a chapter on your device to read at a later time, you may download the chapter to Google Drive or OneDrive. Make sure you have the Google Drive or OneDrive app installed on your device. You can find both of these apps on Google Play and iTunes. Once you download your chosen app, sign in with your username and password. Your chapter will be available to read immediately.

Documents from the Gale Virtual Reference Library are downloadable as PDFs; just follow the instructions for transferring PDF files to your device. For most devices, this will involve connecting the device to your computer and transferring the file. Depending on the device, you may be able to transfer the file using an SD card.

You can send PDF files to your Kindle eReader by emailing the document to yourself through your Send to Kindle email address.