Finding and Using Ebooks

Highlights electronic books available through the University of Arkansas Libraries

About Ebooks

Iphone, laptop, notebook

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

The Libraries offer more than 800,000 electronic books: both electronic versions of print titles as well as "born digital" editions that have no paper version.

Some ebooks may be used by many people simultaneously. Others are limited to only 1 or 2 users at one time.

Most ebooks allow printing and downloading of a section or chapter. The downloaded chapter can generally be read with a PDF reader like Adobe Reader. Some services allow you to "check out" an eBook for a limited number of days to read offline.

This guide is designed to help you locate and use our eBook collections.

About Academic Ebooks

Owned vs. Leased

While the Libraries own many ebooks outright, you will also find thousands of books that are part of subscription packages.

Books in subscription packages can drop out after a period of time; for instance, the publisher may no longer contract with Ebsco or ProQuest or the database may drop titles published before a certain date.

In addition, the Libraries participate in several "try before you buy" programs where we can offer trial access to ebooks for a period of time before they are purchased.

Pro Tip: Because ebook packages can change over time, it is important to verify our ownership of a title before assigning it to your class. To do that, Ask Us.

Limited Printing or Saving

In certain databases, especially Ebsco and ProQuest, publishers enforce "digital rights management" or impose limitations on the number of pages that can be downloaded or printed. Full book "check outs" or downloads may be limited to a short period of time, just like a physical book.

Limited Simultaneous Users

As with a physical book, some ebooks are limited to only 1 or 3 users at one time. You will often see the number of users noted in OneSearch.

Pro Tip: Need more users so that you can assign the book to your class? Ask Us.

Helper Software Needed

Some platforms, including Ebsco Ebooks or ProQuest Ebook Central, require the use of special software to read a downloaded book. This software enforces digital rights management, so that you are not able to retain a personal copy of the entire book permanently.

Pro tip: Unless you need to read the entire book, it is often much easier to read the item online and download only the chapter or pages you need.

Using Your Kindle or Nook Readers

Most library ebook databases will not allow you to download entire books directly to your Kindle or Nook without additional software. Most of our ebooks will work well on tablets and even smartphones.

Academic, not Popular, Content

Unlike the selection of popular fiction or audiobooks from your local public library, our ebook collection primarily consists of nonfiction and scholarly works to support university instruction and research.

Pro Tip: If you are looking for lighter fare, residents of Fayetteville are eligible for a Fayetteville Public Library card. 


Where to Find Them

Our ebooks can be found in OneSearch and in a number of ebook databases.