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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

eBooks at UMass Amherst Libraries

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.


Description: All subjects, many publishers. All books can be used by multiple users. This is a Five College subscription.
Five College holdings: Around 120,000 titles published from 2009 onward.

Find along with other books:

  • Five College Catalog (limit to e-books here -- specify e-book in format). Click the e-book title, then click Location and Availlability, then click the Online link.
  • UMA WorldCat Local (be sure Five Colleges owns it). Click the e-book title, then click the link.

Or search the EBL database directly.

Unlike other e-book packages, EBL requires logging in with a UMass NetID or other Five College ID before its books can be viewed. Users in the libraries who don't have an account can see their reference librarian for help.

Read Online
In the EBL screen, click Read Online. Once the book has loaded,  use the arrows or scroll down to move from page to page, or scroll down.  Zoom using top menu button.

Print/Save Up to 20% of the Book
Once the book has loaded, click the Print button on the upper menu bar. As prompted, click Yes to borrow the book. Choose to print Single Page, Print Range, or Chapter. To save as a pdf, choose PDF Writer as your printer. Note: Some publishers may further restrict printing.

Borrow/Download to Read Offline on Your Own Computer or Device
Requires  Adobe Digital Editions, a free download.

1. Click the Download button on the vertical menu bar.
2. Follow prompts on the left. Loan period is 1 day, after which the file will self-destruct. Format is pdf; sometimes e-pub is an option too. Click the Download button.
3. In the next pop-up, specify Adobe Digital Editions, then click OK. Your ADE window should open with the book in it. If not, open ADE to find the book.

Special Features

Export citations to RefWorks
For a single title, use the Cite this Book link on the book's initial EBL page. For a group of books, create a Collection (described below), then click Manage Collections, then Cite Collections.

Bookshelf/My Collections
The Bookshelf link in the upper menu bar displays all the books you've accessed. Use the My Collections link to create lists of books. Use Manage Collections to email lists or export them to a spreadsheet

While reading a book, click the Notes tab in the vertical menu bar.  View your notes via the Bookmarks button on your Bookshelf.

Purchase Model
Once there are five significant uses of the title, the Libraries will automatically purchase it. (A “significant use” is defined as a download, or viewing the book online for 10 minutes or more.)

EBL Guide
A  more detailed guide from the vendor.


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.