27 November 2013

eBooks — A guide to borrowing for e-readers and computers (Part 2)

Part 2  Borrowing, downloading, reading and returning

Reading eBooks on an e-reader (image from Morguefile)
Reading eBooks on an e-reader (image: Morguefile)
This step-by-step guide is written to help you borrow eBooks or audiobooks (also sometimes called eAudio) from Libraries ACT.

This post is the second part of our guide to borrowing and reading ebooks using a computer and an e-reader. It explains how to borrow and read ebooks from the library on your device, once it has been set up as per the instructions in Part 1. For a guide to borrowing for tablets, see our post below.

At the ACT Digital Hub we have been taking people through the process of borrowing library eBooks from Libraries ACT. If you would like to make an appointment to talk about eBooks and computers or e-readers contact 6140 4990 or digitalhub(at)act.gov.au.

Step 1  Meet the Catalogue

Get to know the Libraries ACT eCollections home page. You can also access this page by typing ebooks.library.act.gov.au into your browser.

  • eBooks (print) are indicated by a book icon in the top right hand corner of the book. An icon is a little picture
  • eAudio items are shown by a headphones icon
  • Available items – icons are shaded black
  • Unavailable items – icons are shaded grey
  • You can request items that are unavailable
  • In the process of requesting material, you will need to give our e-catalogue your email address and we will contact you when it is available to download
  • Once notification has been sent, you will only have five (5) days to download the item
  • Just like a real paper library, where one book can be borrowed by one person, only one person can borrow an e-book at a time. Some titles may have multiple copies, so several people can borrow that title
  • There is a limit of 10 items that you can borrow at any one time.

Step 2  Download your book

Now that you are familiar with the eCatalogue you are ready to pick the item you want to borrow.

  • Select (i.e., click on) an available item
  • Select Borrow
  • Enter your Library card number and PIN then select Sign In
  • You will then see a screen showing all of the items you have currently checked out.
  • Select Download ePub
  • You may see a box appear on your screen, asking if you are sure you want to download or open this file. Select yes or open.
  • The file may open automatically in Adobe Digital Editions. If it does not, you will need to open it (if you can't find it, it is probably in the folder called 'Downloads').
  • Adobe Digital Editions will say that it is 'fulfilling content' or 'downloading'.
  • Once this is done, your book will appear as an image in Adobe Digital Editions. You will also be able to see how long you will have the item for.

Step 3  Copy your book to your e-Reader


  • Connect your e-Reader to your computer using the cable it came with. You may see a message asking you to confirm that you want to connect on your e-Reader, and/or on your computer. You will need to confirm this to continue.
  • On your computer, Adobe Digital Editions should now show your e-Reader under 'connected devices'


Step 4  Read your book

Items will typically appear on your e-Reader in your 'Bookshelf'. Just select the item by tapping its image or title to start reading.

Step 5  Returning your book

If you are finished reading your item and wish to return it, you can do so by right-clicking on the item in Adobe Digital Editions, and choosing the option to return it. The item will then be available for other library members to borrow. Returning an item will automatically delete it from Adobe Digital Editions. The item will still appear on your e-Reader, however you will not be able to read it. To remove the title from your device, you will need to delete it.

Ebooks and Audiobooks will return themselves automatically when the borrowing period has expired. The titles will still be visible on your device and in Adobe Digital Editions, however you will not be able to read them.