Skip to Main Content
CofC Logo

CofC Libraries Discovery Service: Finding and Using eBooks

How to guide for the College of Charleston Libraries Discovery Service -- search the library catalog and numerous databases all at once.

Introduction to College Libraries eBooks

What can you do with an eBook?

The library collection includes over 730,000 electronic books--more than the number of print titles in Addlestone! Ebooks are found in a number of different library databases. Specific instructions and access options for eBooks vary by platform, but most allow you to do the following:

  • Read the eBook online
  • Search within the eBook for key words and phrases
  • Print sections of the eBook
  • Download specific chapters or the whole book to a computer or other device. Depending on platform and licensing, you may be able to keep the downloaded copy indefinitely, or it may expire after a period of time.

Reading eBooks Online

It is usually easiest and fastest to read eBooks online. 

Checking out eBooks 

If you wish to access the book multiple times over a period of days, consider downloading the book using an eReader app. Most library eBooks expire after a period of time due to something called Digital Rights Management (DRM). These books must be downloaded using Adobe Digital Editions, a free eBook reader that manages the expiration periods of DRM eBooks. Although there are a few extra steps initially, once you have Adobe Digital Editions set up you can quickly and easily download and read your checkouts, and you never have to worry about "returning" them! See below for specific eBook platform requirements. 

Finding and Using eBooks

The following video shows how to find and access eBooks in the Discovery Service. To see how to access an eBook you've already found, jump to minute 1:14 in the video.

EBSCO eBook Academic Collection

Before Your First EBSCO eBook Download

You will need the following account information and programs before downloading most Proquest eBooks. 

How to Download

eBook Formats

Some platforms offer a choice of formats when reading online or downloading eBooks. The two most common formats are EPUB and PDF. EPUB usually provides a better online reading experience, but you will need to download an app if you do not already have one.

EPUB eBook Format

  • File format specifically designed and optimized for eBooks
  • Text resizes and reflows based on display size and user preferences
  • Compatible with many eBook readers and apps
  • For downloaded books, requires an eBook reader/app (free download)--usually Adobe Digital Editions

PDF eBook Format

  • File format commonly used for many types of electronic documents
  • Size and layout of text is fixed on the page
  • Most computers already have a PDF reader installed
  • For downloaded books, Adobe Digital Editions may still be required for DRM books (books that expire)

Proquest eBook Central

Before Your First Proquest eBook Download

You will need the following account information and programs before downloading most Proquest eBooks. 

How to Download