Ebrary Ebook Downloads: the First Time

Ebrary now allows users to download ebooks to devices. Ebrary users can download up to 60 pages of a book into a permanent PDF file or an entire ebook using Adobe Digital Editions, which seems to load onto every ebook reader except the one I own (the Kindle). Ebrary has always had an ebook model similar to the ejournal model we’re all familiar with, where multiple users can access the same item just as they can with journal articles. Reading on the computer screen isn’t great, but having the searchable full text of the ebook is great. The ebook download is a bit trickier than downloading an article from ProQuest or Ebsco, though. Here’s what it’s like the first time:

1. Once you choose your ebook, click the “Download Button.” 


2. In order to download a book, you have to create an Ebrary account, which you don’t need just to view the books online. I had an old one, but couldn’t remember my password.



3. Once you create the account, you have to sign in, of course. From now on, you’ll be prompted to sign in when you want to download.



4. You’re not quite done. Getting the partial ebook on PDF is easy, but to get the entire book you have to download Adobe Digital Editions. If you miss the tiny print, you won’t be able to read your book.



5. At the Adobe Digital Editions site, you have to click “Install.”



6. After you click “Install,” you get another screen, where you have to click “Install” again.



7. Adobe needs you to be really, really sure you want this and that you’re not just toying with their affections, so after clicking “Install” twice, you have to click “Yes” to actually download Digital Editions.



8. Then the setup begins.



9. And another step.



10. One more click and we’re done!



11.Well, almost. You still have to agree to the license terms that you’re almost certainly not going to read, hoping as with all software installations there isn’t something tucked away about you owing anyone the souls of your unborn children.



12. Oh, and you still have a little setting up to do.



13. It turns out you can’t download the ebook without creating accounts with both Ebrary and Adobe. So it’s time to do that.



14. Fill in all that information and “Join Adobe.” Now’s the time to start getting excited about reading that book, because there are only four steps left to go.



15. Success! Adobe Digital Editions activated.



16. Only you don’t have any books yet. So go back to the Ebrary download page and click “OK.”



17. Now you’ll get a prompt to download the ebook into Adobe Digital Editions. If you’re still going at that point, click “OK.”



18. And now we have our book. Through Adobe Digital Editions, it can be moved to various ebook readers and devices. Unfortunately, despite having accounts with both Ebrary and Adobe at this point, it doesn’t sync across computers. So if you download a book onto one computer using Adobe Digital Editions, you won’t be able to log into Adobe from another computer and access the book, which is functionality I expect at this point.



So, there you have it. How to download your Ebrary ebook for the first time, in 18 easy steps. It’s not quite as seamless a process as downloading an article from JSTOR, but Ebrary is doing the best it can with what it has. As with a lot of things, the first time is the hardest, and the download process is much smoother once you have the right accounts and software downloaded. I just wonder how many people will get through that first time.

34 thoughts on “Ebrary Ebook Downloads: the First Time

  1. Yeah, and no sign of Kindle anywhere. You can’t actually download a book to Kindle like they say… I’d suggest some form improper claim but I’d only get buzzed a legal document telling me to shut up or else. You can print to pdf and read on a device (like a Kindle) but that is all. I won’t say what I really think about their claim.

  2. Thank you for reminding me I needed to schedule an ebrary training. Sigh.

    I’m glad to know you can now do full downloads, but holy crap that’s clunky! At least you get the book at teh end of it, yeah?

  3. Thank you for reminding me I needed to schedule an ebrary training. Sigh.

    I’m glad to know you can now do full downloads, but holy crap that’s clunky! At least you get the book at the end of it, yeah?

  4. But it’s not a full download to Kindle. It is whatever you can photocopy under copyright law isn’t it? So you can download 10% of the book or maybe 20%. That is not full download in my world. Or is my world permanently half-empty?

    • The only thing you can download and put on a Kindle is the PDF file, which is a maximum of 60 pages.

    • Ebrary actually allows downloading of a complete chapter, even those chapters which are over 60 pages long. They do not allow the downloading of a page range of 60 or more pages, but the chapters over 60 is okay.

  5. Thanks for the correction, Joe.

    For LibGuide users, I made a LibGuide page where I adapted the blog post while editing out most of the sarcasm:

    Anyone who wants to copy that into their LibGuide has my permission.

    • Thank you for the post and the LibGuide. While it is great that finally Ebrary is allowing for downloads, it really needs to be less clunky if library patrons are actually going to do it. This is just about as clunky as Overdrive which I get through my public library and even as a librarian get frustrated with and don’t use as much as I want to.

  6. Great googly. This is more complicated than OverDrive’s non-Kindle method, which I didn’t think possible. My sympathies to librarians trying to support this. I keep asking: is ADE really the only option for ePub en/decryption for ebook lenders? Is it the easiest option? I’m afraid the answers might be yes.

  7. Many, many thanks for LibGuide-ifying your original blog post! With your permission, we plan to adopt your page (with attribution) for use at Marlboro College as we start to publicize ebrary downloads.

  8. Use it or adapt it however you like. I’d just copied and pasted the blog post into LibGuides, but I just went back and edited the images so they’re in LibGuides and not linking out to the blog.

  9. This is not that different from the process that has been used by Overdrive for a while. I’ve been a fan of ebooks from the public library for a while .

    They are pushing it through Adobe Digital Editions because they are hanging a 14 day expiration date on it. They are also pushing a straight PDF, where you can’t reflow the text on a smaller screen. I did download something and then pushed it to my Nook, but the text seemed kind of small.

  10. I am guessing that since this is an Adobe product that it will not play nicely with an iPad? Anyone tried this?

    I do not see a version of Adobe Digital Editions available for the iPad.

    • I’m an IT person and just spent 3 hours trying to get an eBrary book on my iPad. According to these instructions, http://support.ebrary.com/?p=912, it’s a piece of cake but I couldn’t even get ADE to recognize my iPad. Adobe says that if your iPad is connected to your PC and you run ADE, it will detect it but it does not. Also, none of the books I selected for full download would work. I could only download chapters.

  11. According to this website at Adobe, there are several iPad applications that support Adobe Digital Editions:

    I did a Control-F and found several called “iPad application,” though I have no idea if any of them work.

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  13. Try the Bluefire app for IPad. It is a great eReader and supports Abobe Content Manager DRM. I used it to download my first eBrary book last week. The whole process took about four minutes, including the time it took for me to remember my Adobe password.

    You will still need an eBrary account and also an Adobe account but there is no need to download ACM. The book loads direct from Safari to Bluefire with required authentications along the way. Not perfect, but not bad.

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  15. Does anyone know if the full-book file is in fact EPUB? I keep hearing librarians say that the chapter downloads in ebrary are PDFs and the full book downloads are EPUB, but I keep finding full book downloads in ebrary that turn out just to be PDFs that you have to use Adobe Digital Editions to open. If you look at the file itself on your “My Digital Editions” folder on your computer, you’ll see that it’s just a PDF. I searched across the ebrary documentation but can’t find any references to EPUB there.

  16. Stephen, I’ve been playing around with this for a while to find the limitations, and I’ve also found only PDFs requiring Adobe Digital Editions to open, but not any EPUBs, which is how what my public library supplies through Adobe Digital Editions.

  17. Two logins (three for off campus users going through the proxy server), some new software, and the payoff is generally a PDF that looks terrible on your eReader. If ebrary is the same as EBL there’s also another problem. You can download the book and make annotations, but if your loan expires and you download again, it is a new file with no annotations, and there’s no way to transfer those notes.

  18. I didn’t knew that it would be so easy to download using Adobe digital editions and I am still waiting for adobe and Ebrary sync features across computers.

  19. Thanks for sharing this. The only thing you can download and put on a Kindle is the PDF file, which is a maximum of 60 pages. That’s a pity.

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  21. The ebrary book I was looking at didn’t have a download button. Does anyone know why?

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  24. I particularly dislike the fact that this asinine system is far more complicated, and far worse for the end user, entirely because of publishers’ requirements to put DRM on *everything*. Adobe digital editions doesn’t have a linux version, doesn’t work on my Cyanogen phone, and exists only to separate me and the content I am entitled to. Likewise, the PDFs Ebray produces are rasterised and watermarked, degrading their quality (one can’t search, for example).

    This is yet another clear example of either the printed book or pirated product being far superior.

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