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E-book Guide: Using e-books

e-book Accessibility Support

Do you need help with e-books?

Some of our e-book platforms have extra accessibility functions.

If you have a specific query with regards to accessing e-books, please email

If you would like help searching for or reading e-books or just want to become more familiar with them, you can book a 1:1 appointment with a librarian.



Graphic of books standing and lying with text e-books above

This page provides an overview of LSBU's main e-book platforms, EBSCO, Ebook Central (ProQuest) and VLe-Books (Askews and Holts).  

Each of these platforms provides access to e-books from a wide variety of publishers, each of who have different standards for e-book access.  This is why there is a wide variety of functionality with e-books. 

E-books can be accessed on and off campus and are a useful alternative if the print version is unavailable. 

Requesting e-books

DDA - demand driven acquisitions

Most of our books are bought outright from suppliers.  However, we are currently trialling Demand-Driven Acquisition with ProQuest.  This means you may sometimes see the following message when you click on an ebook link in from the catalogue.

DDA titles are recognisable by the following message appearing


You may read this book for 5 minutes, and request this book from your library.

This ebook is not currently available through LSBU Library. Please click the request button to notify the librarians that you’re interested in this title. Where possible, we will respond to your request within 2 business days.

We aim to satisfy most requests, but where a request is rejected, you will be emailed back by one of the Academic Liaison Librarians who will suggest alternative sources you can use.

Using our different e-book platforms


Shibboleth on and off campus – IP recognition on campus.   

Sign in required off-site (LSBU username and password)


17020 Owned Ebook Central and MyiLibrary titles. 

523 DDA titles

Concurrant user access

Ebooks are available in the following models: 

Single user – one user at a time can view an ebook 

3 user – Three users can view an ebook at the same time. 

Non-linear – Usage of the ebook is limited by how many times the book is viewed.  It can be viewed by multiple users at the same until the credits have been used up. 

Unlimited access - an unlimited number of users can access the ebook for an unlimited time. 

You will be able to find out what model an ebook is by looking at 'Availability' details on Ebook Central platform.

Formats available

Read online - desktops, tablets and laptops only.  These titles cannot be downloaded and read offline.  

Download PDF – chapter download 

EPUB – text reflows making it easier to read when using mobile devices e.g. phones / tablets


Requires Adobe Digital Editions.  To download Adobe Digital Editions follow the link below.  You will need to create an Adobe account if you do not have one.

PDF – book chapters and sections can be downloaded as PDF within limits.  The number of pages available to print is displayed under 'Availability' on the detail page.

EPUB – gives greater reflow of text and therefore useful format for downloading material to mobile devices.

Downloading and printing limits reset daily.

Read online Sessions will time out after 30 minutes of inactivity.  
Mobile devices

To download to iOS or Android devices you will need Adobe Digital Editions and Bluefire Reader app.

Annotation / note taking

Users can bookmark, annotate, highlight, make notes and export notes on Ebook Central.

Further guidance can be found at


Ebook Central offers accessibility options for blind and visually impaired students.   

Accessibility options can be accessed by selecting Settings > Profile > Accessibility Mode > Enable Accessibility Mode > Agree privacy policy and Terms of Service > Save

Known issues

Accessibility options offered above only apply to unlimited access books.    

If you are using a screen reader / other assistive technology and are having problems accessing ebooks please contact

Referencing / citations





  • APA 
  • Chicago/ Turabian - Notes-Bibliography & Chicago/ Turabian - Author-Date
  • Harvard
  • MLA
  • Vancouver

Bibliographic management

RefWorks / EndNote / Citavi



Sign in required off-site (LSBU username and password)

Users will need to create their own username and password to access additional features e.g. folders.  

Coverage 749 purchased titles and 197,402 subscribed titles.
Digital Rights Management (DRM)?

The majority LSBU's EBSCO titles will have DRM which limits the number of pages that can be copied and downloaded. 

EBSCO titles that allow unlimited access do not have DRM, this is signposted by the following: 

Concurrent user access?

Yes – Concurrent User Level shows 3 Copies Available or Unlimited User Access. 

3 copies means 3 people can view an e-book at the same time. 

Unlimited means an unlimited number of people can view an e-book  at the same time. 

No –  Concurrent User level shows 1 Copy Available.   

This means that only one person can view the book at a time.   

If you get the following message “Sorry, this eBook is in use.”  The book is in use and you should try accessing it at  another time.

Formats available

Available in PDF and EPUB 

EPUB format is not compatible with Internet Explorer browsers 7 & 8

Recommended browser settings
  •  Internet Explorer - 11.0 or later
  •  Safari - 11.0 or later
  •  Google Chrome - Latest version plus one previous  version
  •  iOS - 11.0 or later
  •  Other - JavaScript, Cookies Enabled, DOM Storage

Books can be downloaded for between 1 and 7 days

1 user e-books cannot be downloaded.

To download material a personal EBSCO account must be created (separate from LSBU account).  Additionally Adobe Digital Editions account is required in order to view downloaded material.

Requires Adobe Digital Editions.  To download Adobe Digital Editions follow the link below.  You will need to create an Adobe account if you do not have one.

Read online Sessions will time out after 30 minutes inactivity.
Printing Yes - number of pages will depend on book's publisher and copyright restrictions. 
Mobile devices

You will need to have Bluefire Reader app and Adobe Digital Editions on the device to be able to download and read e-books online.

Annotation / note taking Notes can be added using My Notes function and viewable in side bar.  No highlighter function.  

EBSCO advises using specific combinations of browsers and screen readers, for example  

Desktop: Internet Explorer 11 with JAWS 

Desktop: Firefox (latest) with NVDA 

Mobile Apple devices: Safari with VoiceOver

Known issues

DRM can affect users using assistive technology.   

Users of Read and Write, Natural Reader and ClaroRead and other dyslexia reading tools may encounter compatibility issues.   

If this happens please contact Disability and Dyslexia Service or


  • APA
  • ChicagoTurabian Notes-Bibliography and Author-Date
  • Harvard
  • MLA
  • Vancouver
Bibliographic managment EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, RefWorks, BibTeX.


Authentication Sign in required off-site (LSBU username and password)
Coverage 287 purchased titles 
Digital Rights Management (DRM)?


VLeBooks have DRM to protect content

Concurrent user access?

Yes - credit books 

No - single user books

Reading sessions expire after 2hrs of inactivity.


Some books can be downloaded for 1 day.

Chapters can be printed or downloaded as PDF if it doesn't exceed the page limit.

To download as PDF: select print > print to PDF > save. 

Requires Adobe Digital Editions.  To download Adobe Digital Editions follow the link below.  You will need to create an Adobe account if you do not have one.

Read online Sessions will time out after 2 hours.

For Accessibility options select Edit Accessibility Settings on left of the VLe-books title page. 

Font size, Contrast, Greyscale can be altered in Accessibility Settings.

Colour overlays can be added from within the e-book by selecting the colour wheel icon on top right of the page.   

Read online: Compatible with Read and Write Gold, JAWS, NVDA after Adobe digital editions has been downloaded.

Does not currently support image description.

If you are using a screen reader / other assistive technology and are having problems accessing ebooks please contact

Annotation / note taking

Yes - the note taking function appears in a tab on the left side of the page. 

To take notes, select the notes tab and a panel will appear under the current page.  Notes can be made in this panel.  When saved the notes will appear in the left-hand side panel with page number.

Books can be saved to bookshelf.

Mobile Devices

Needs to be compatible with Adobe Digital Editons and will require an Adobe Digital Editions account.  Bluefire Reader.

Bibliographic management




Types of e-books

1 User:  One user can access an e-book at a time.  

3 User:  Three users can use an e-book at the same time.

Unlimited:  Unlimited number of users can use book at the same time.

Links to accessibility guides

Contact Disability and Dyslexia Support

Do you need to contact the Disability and Dyslexia Support team (DDS)?

If you want to declare a disability or discuss the support that might be available to you, get in touch with the LSBU Disability & Dyslexia Support team:

Online: Disability & Dyslexia Support

Email icon​ Email:

or find them at the Student Life Centre help desk in the Student Centre