Frequently Asked e-Book Questions

Frequently Asked Ebook Questions

How can I find ebooks?

Ebooks can be found by:

  • Searching in Primo

    • Perform your search in Primo
    • Click on “Online Resource in the left menu under “Show Only”
    • Click on “Books” in the left menu under “Resource Type”
  • Selecting a Platform on the A-Z Database List

    • Many of our databases contain various ebook titles
    • On the A-Z Database List, limit to “eBooks” in the “All Database Types” drop-down menu

Are there reference books (encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc.) in electronic format?

Yes. The Library has subscribes to many encyclopedias, handbooks, protocols, book reviews, and other reference works. You can find them by searching on the A-Z Database list, and limiting Database Types to "Dictionaries and Encyclopedias".  

Do I need special software to read ebooks?

You may need additional free software depending on whether you are reading on your browser or on your computer.

Reading ebooks online:

  • You do not generally need special software. Ebooks will usually open in the vendors’ online reader or open as a PDF in your internet browser.

Downloading ebooks onto your computer:

Can I save ebooks to my ereader?

Usually, you can add ebooks to your personal ereader if:

  • The publisher has enabled this feature
  • You have an Adobe Digital Editions (or another ebook management software) installed on your computer

Learn how to add ebooks to your ereader from the major ebook databases: EBSCOhostEbrary and ScholarsPortal Books.

Can I access ebooks on my mobile device?

Yes, but not in all cases.

  • Many publishers provide mobile applications that will allow you to view ebooks on a mobile device

    • Some of the vendors with mobile apps include: EBSCOhost, SpringerLink, Knovel, CABI and many more
  • Most vendor websites are compatible with mobile devices and have a responsive design
  • Usually PDF files without digital rights management can also downloaded and read on a mobile devices

Can I download/print/email ebooks? The whole book?

Yes, but the restrictions will be different for each ebook depending on what the publisher has made available. You can usually print at least part of an ebook, and many platforms will have set page limits which can vary from a low of 10 pages to a high of 150.

However, some platforms have minimal digital rights management (DRM) restrictions and will allow you to download an entire PDF of an ebook. 

Check out our Ebook Platform Handout (PDF - 619kb) to see what platforms have minimal DRM.

Yes. Many sites provide the option to create a permalinks.

The URL in your browser bar will not work because of authentication reasons. Instead look for a permalink on the platform.

Why can't I get access to an ebook I found in Primo?

There could be a number of reasons for this:

  • Have you signed in using your UG credentials? You will need to be logged in and authenticated to access content
  • Primo search results includes ebooks purchased by the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University. These ebooks are not available to Guelph users. Under the "Refine My Results" menu on the left, select University of Guelph Library to view titles available at Guelph
  • The ebook title may no longer be available as the publisher may have removed it. A lot of ebook platforms work like a Netflix account, where content is added and removed constantly

Does the library have my course textbook as an ebook?

No. The Library does not normally purchase textbooks. However, many of the required readings for courses are available electronically through the Ares Course Reserve system and some of these will be ebooks.

Who do I contact if I'm having problems with an ebook?

Contact Ask Us