Research Guides

Ebook Collections


Most publishers of ebooks place restrictions on how much of a book may be downloaded.  These restrictions vary widely and frequently change. See the box to the right for more information.


Digital Rights/Restrictions Management (DRM) restricts which devices and programs can view an ebook, if the ebook can be printed, downloaded, and transferred between devices as a file, or if it must be viewed in a specific browser or reading program.

Adode Digital Editions

Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) software is used by multiple ebook platforms to electronically "check out" titles.

It is best, if you do open a book in ADE, to do so on your own personal machine rather than a public library computer so that you can still access the ebook, as a checked out ebook is tied to the machine itself and not just your account.

File Formats of Ebooks

Common formats that can be used on many devices:

  • ePub: ePub is an open E-book standard providing reflowable text and inline images. ePub files will generally work with any ereaders except Amazon's Kindle.
  • PDF: Ebooks whose text appears as PDFs usually work well with most mobile devices and e-readers. PDFs do have issues with adaptive technology.
  • Plain text, HTML, and more.

Examples of platform-restricted formats that are very uncommon in libraries:

  • iBook: Restricted for use with Apple operating systems
  • Kindle formats (.azw3; .azw; .kf8): Restricted for use by Amazon with the Kindle

See more formats of ebooks here.

If your device cannot read an Ebook's file, try converting the format using Calibre. DRM may prevent this tool from working.

Downloading GC Ebooks

Brief notes here outline ebook packages available through GC affiliation. In addition, see Open Access ebooks.

Last updated January 2021