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An eBook is an electronic version of a traditional print book; e-books; e books

Linking to ebooks in your course

In your GILFind results,

  • Click the title of the book you would like to link to.
  • Click Permalink to get a persistent URL you can use in your course.


How can instructors best use ebooks in their course?

  • A link to the ebook can be placed on your course reserves page, in your syllabus, or in iCollege.
  • Choose ebooks with unlimited access when your use is for an entire class. You can see availability info on the landing page of the ebook within the ebook database. Although many of our ebooks do allow for unlimited use, some books in Ebook Central and EBSCO have restrictions with as little as one user at a time.

Can ebooks be requested through Interlibrary Loan?

No, not as a whole book.  Licensing restrictions typically prevent us from getting ebooks via Interlibrary Loan. However, you should still request the title if you need it.  You have two options.  If you need the whole book, the library will try to obtain the print edition.  If you only need a small portion of the book, consider making a chapter request. A few publishers do allow one chapter of an ebook to be lent through Interlibrary Loan.

Can I get access to ebooks from another school by searching for University System of Georgia titles in GIL-Find?

No.  Sometimes they show up in the Universal Catalog, but only students from the designated school can access them.

What does it mean when the ebook is in use/checked out?

Some ebooks have limits on the number of people who can use the ebook at the same time. If you are getting this message, then the book is currently unavailable. Please check back later.                                                                                            

Can I be alerted when an ebook that is in use becomes available?

No. Unfortunately, this feature is not currently available at GSU.

How long does an ebook take to get out of use?

This varies by title - anywhere from an hour to the full checkout period. If someone else is viewing an ebook that only allows one user at a time, then it typically takes about an hour after that user is finished with it for the ebook to become available again. If another user “checks out” a title, the full checkout period varies by book, but it is usually 7-14 days.

In Ebook Central, are books on my bookshelf checked out to me?

Placing a book on your bookshelf is essentially a bookmarked link. The book is not checked out or in use by being on your bookshelf.

What if I have a book on my bookshelf and another user checks it out. Does it disappear?

The book does not disappear from your bookshelf unless you delete it from your bookshelf. If someone is accessing a single user title that is on your bookshelf and you try to open the same book, you won't be able to access the book at that time. If it's a multi user title, you can access the book at the same time as another user.

Do any annotations I've made also disappear while the book is unavailable?

If a single user title is in use by another person, the first line of each of your annotations will show in your bookshelf, but you won't be able to access the entire annotation until the book is available again.

How can I download an ebook to my mobile device?

You can read all ebooks online without downloading. Some ebooks are set up for downloading and others are not downloadable. If your ebook is provided by eBook Centra or EBSCO, you will need to download Bluefire to your mobile device.  After downloading Bluefire, you will be prompted to set up your Adobe ID. See our ebook guide ( or contact a librarian for additional assistance.

I saved the ebook to my computer, but it will not open.  The file says URLLink.acsm. Then it tells me that Windows cannot open the file.

Many of our ebooks require specific software to download:  Adobe Digital Editions for your computer, or Bluefire for your mobile device.  Once Adobe Digital Editions or Bluefire is installed, you will be prompted to set up your Adobe ID.  After that, you should be able to download the ebook. See our ebook guide ( or contact a librarian for additional assistance.

How to Find ebooks in GILFind

You can search for eBooks from all GSU library ebook databases in the GSU Library's GilFind catalog just as you would search for traditional print books. After you search, tweak your results to show only "full access online" and the "books" format to see only eBooks. See a full description for embedding ebooks for course content.

PDF vs. EPUB format

Ebooks come in a variety of formats.  Two of the most popular are PDF and ePUB.  Sometimes you have the option to choose which format you want. Older PDFs are not reflowable so as to properly accomodate smaller screen sizes like those on a mobile device.  So, if you are having trouble with the document fitting properly within your screen, try using an epub file if you have that option. Newer PDFs and various apps are designed to fix this problem.

Here's a quick blog entry by Deniz Oguz about pdf vs. epub for android.


Colon, A. (2019) The Best eReaders of 2019. PC Magazine.


No Shelf Required

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