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How To: Use, Access, and Download Ebooks


How Does Downloading Work in Ebook Central?

Ebook Central

Entire book:

For most titles in Ebook Central, you will need additional software (Adobe Digital Editions) to read an entire downloaded book. You will be prompted to download the software the first time you download a book from Ebook Central (or EBSCO).  Once you have the software, you won't need to download it again onto your laptop. 

NOTE: downloaded books will expire after the loan period ends.

Chapter or pages:

For chapters or pages of books from Ebook Central, you will be able to download PDF versions that can be easily read with Adobe Acrobat Reader. 

NOTE: there are limits to how many chapters and/or pages you can download in PDF format.  These do not expire.

Downloads in Ebook Central

Downloading entire books in Ebook Central requires additional software. Pages/chapters do not:

Type of download


Additional software needed

Loan/usage period

Account needed?

File format

Entire ebook

generally many users at once

Adobe Digital Editions

borrow/download for up to 21 days

no, but must be signed in via HWS 



limited number of pages

any PDF reader

no expiration 

no, but must be signed in via HWS


Downloading Entire Books in Ebook Central

When you click to download a book in Ebook Central, you'll see this prompt. Respond and click Continue.

You'll be prompted to download Adobe Digital Editions. Leave this page open when you navigate to download the needed software.

NOTE: You do NOT need to create an Adobe ID unless you want to be able to read your download on more than one device.

Once you have downloaded and installed Adobe Digital Editions, you will return to this page to complete your ebook download:

To recap, follow these three steps:

Once you have downloaded your book, you'll need to

  1. Open your Adobe Digital Editions software (from the icon on your desktop)
  2. Locate the downloaded file (it will be in your downloads folder with a file extension of .acsm)
  3. Add the ebook to your Adobe Digital Editions library. and begin reading. 

After you opt to open the .acsm file for your downloaded ebook, you'll be prompted by Adobe to authorize your device by creating an Adobe ID.  This can be useful for improving access across devices, but is NOT necessary:

Once you've successfully imported the newly-downloaded ebook into Adobe Digital Editions, it will appear in the "library."

Each downloaded book will have a flag which indicates the amount of time remaining in the loan period:

For more information:

Ebook Central Ebooks Full Downloads

Ebook Central Chapter Downloads

Adobe Digital Editions

Ebook Collections - General

Ebook Collections - Specialized

Ebook Collections - Free