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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

eBooks at UMass Amherst Libraries

Introduction to the UMass Library e-book collection

Visual browse the library's e-book collection

Accessing academic library e-books is a little different from buying e-books or or borrowing them from a public library. UMass Amherst Libraries e-books are published by the same scholarly and academic presses as our print collection, but are acquired from several publishers.

   All can be read online with a UMass NetID. Most can be read at public computers by community patrons.

   Almost all can be partially downloaded (a chapter, or 60 pages per browser session) to be read offline.

   The three largest e-book publishers, EBL, ebrary and Ebsco E-Books, allow "borrowing" of most titles for full-text offline reading. Log in with your NetID and password, or, for Ebsco, create a separate account with the vendor.  Also, the first time you borrow one of these e-books you need to download free Adobe Digital Editions software and set up an account there. ADE provides the platform for reading and managing rights for downloaded e-books,  -- it controls loan periods and ensures that "borrowed" books aren't pirated. Additionally, IOS and Android devices require Bluefire software.


Q: Can I download UMass Amherst library e-books onto my Kindle?
A: No, but Kindle Fires do read pdf, so downloaded sections of ebooks can be read on them.

Q: Does the library have e-books on the OverDrive platform?
A: Yes, the library offers a collection of e-books and audiobooks on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion topics (Overdrive JEDI Collection).

Q: What about e-textbooks and course readings?
A: Check with your instructor about textbooks. Course readings from the library may be available through e-reserves or course pages. Both are usually downloadable for off-line reading.

Q: Can community users -- people without UMass OIT accounts --- use UMass e-books?
A: Not off-site. In the library, they can read most e-books and download sections in pdf.

Q: Can my ADE exist on more than one computer?
A: Yes, set up your account initially with this option.

Q: Can you tell if an e-book is available or checked out from the catalog record?
A: No, but most e-books can be borrowed by more than one person at a time.

Adobe Digital Editions



ADE provides free digital rights management and an e-book platform.  Your borrowed e-books stay with your ADE account and your copy of the software, so you must set it up on your own computer, not shared Library computers. Once set up, your account can be synched between multiple devices.

When you click to download (borrow) an eligible e-book, indicate in the pop-up box that the .acsm file (a "key" file for ADE, not the book itself) should open in Adobe Digital Editions. ADE opens in a separate window with the book displayed within. The actual pdf file will be stored in your computer.

IoS and Android Devices

Borrowing library e-books on an IOS device requires BlueFire Reader synched to your Adobe Digital Editions account.

1. If you don't have one yet, create an ADE account on your computer. Allow for multiple devices.

2. If you don't have one yet, get an Apple ID.

3. Download Bluefire Reader on your IOS device. As prompted, authorized for use with Adobe ebooks using your ADE account.

4. When downloading your e-book, follow prompts to open in Bluefire.

Borrowing Ebsco e-books requires the Bluefire app.

Ebrary has created its own app for the Android.