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Ebooks: Using eBooks

Understanding eBook access and usage restrictions

You might have seen eBooks with a limit on the number of pages you can copy or download at once, or on how many people can access the book online at the same time.

You can check the restrictions for individual titles in Primo Search and the book details page in the eBook collection.

Ebooks in our Library collections are free to read for Charles Sturt students and staff, however some platforms may require you to create a free account to download, print and access the full range of functionality.

Ebook platforms vary in appearance and functionality. General guidance is listed below and the following pages provide instructions for using some of our most commonly used eBook platforms.

If you ever have trouble accessing ebooks or understanding the restrictions and limitations please contact us at the Library.

Recommended usage

To help everyone access eBooks when they need to, whatever the restriction, we recommend you follow the steps below wherever possible:

  1. Select to read online.
  2. Navigate to the page/s or chapter you need to read.
  3. Use the option to print/download to PDF.
  4. Save your download.
  5. Close or return the eBook.

Reading eBooks

Ebooks are easy to read on your computer or mobile device. Many eBooks also allow you to keyword search within the book and create bookmarks and annotations.

There is no single, standard way of reading eBooks:

  • Many can be downloaded in part or full as PDF files.
  • Some can be downloaded for short periods of time and read using eBook programs or applications.
  • Others can only be read online.

Reading online

Ebook platforms that allow reading online will have an in-browser eBook reader similar to a PDF reader.

When reading online you may be prompted to sign in or borrow the book to create annotations, print pages or copy text.

Reading offline

Most of our eBooks can be downloaded in part or in full as PDF files, or are controlled by a Digital Rights Management (DRM) program.

PDF download and print options will vary between platforms and individual books. For some eBooks you will be able to download the whole book as a PDF, other times it will be limited to a set number of pages per day.

Downloaded PDFs are yours to keep, however you cannot share or distribute these files.

To read downloaded PDFs you will need a PDF reader on your computer or device such as:


DRM downloads will make the book available on your device for a set period of time, usually between one and seven days. Once the download loan period is up, the book will expire and automatically return to the online library.

To access DRM downloads you will need to have a compatible program on our device such as:

You will need to set up an Adobe ID to use Adobe Digital Editions.

Please note, that as Adobe Digital Editions is designed for personal use, it is not available on Library student computers.

Text to speech | Read aloud options

Text to speech (TTS) or read aloud functionality is where the eBook is read aloud to you. This is normally done using a computer voice rather than a recording of a human reader as in audiobooks.

Not all publishers enable read aloud functionality, or they may only allow it for certain eBook formats.

Our Screen reading resources for study guide lists a range of tools for screen reading which can be used across different programs and file types, including downloaded eBook files.

Check the following subpages for details and instructions specific to each platform.

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