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E-Reading

Available e-book readers

Williams College Libraries subscribe to several e-book collections as well as e-Reference resources.  Our most popular and diverse collections are Ebook Library (EBL) and ebrary Academic Complete.

In addition, Williams College Libraries have several e-book readers available for loan in Sawyer Library and in Schow Science Library.  

These e-Readers are compatible with our Ebook Library (EBL) collection as well as Overdrive, another library digital collection, because both support Adobe Digital Editions.  Adobe Digital Editions is software that allows you to view and manage e-books while working with Digital Rights Management access, which prevents copying and forces the content to expire off of your device at the end of the lending period. 

EBL and Overdrive e-books are compatible with the iPad and iPhone as long as Bluefire Reader is installed on the device. You will need to login using an Adobe ID to authorize the device.    

The KindleTM  is not compatible with the library's EBL collection or with digital collections that require Adobe Digital Editions.


Download e-books

1.  Download Adobe Digital Editions

To download EBL e-books on your computer, you first need to download and install Adobe Digital Editions.  After downloading Adobe Digital Editions, it will ask if you want to activate your computer using an Adobe ID. By using an Adobe ID, your e-books will not be "locked" on one computer; you will be able to transfer to compatible devices you have authorized. For more information about Adobe Digital Editions and Adobe IDs, see their FAQ.

2. Connect e-book reader to your computer and authorize it in Adobe Digital Editions.

3.  Transfer the e-book from Adobe Digital Editions to your reading device. 

  • Nook: 

    EBL e-books can be transferred to the Nook by using Adobe Digital Editions:

    1. Open Adobe Digital Editions.
    2. Select the 'Library View' icon (in the upper left corner).
      The Adobe Digital Editions library is displayed.
    3. Click on the e-book you want to transfer.
    4. Drag the e-book to the e-book device icon in the left pane of Adobe Digital Editions.
      The 'Copy Documents' dialog box is displayed and the title is transferred.
      When transfer is complete the 'Copy Documents' dialog box closes. Disconnect the e-book device and enjoy the e-book.

  • Sony: 

    EBL e-books can be transferred to the Sony Reader by using Adobe Digital Editions:

    1. To transfer EBL e-books to the Sony Readers, you need to have the Sony Reader™ Library software.
    2. Open Adobe Digital Editions.
    3. Select the 'Library View' icon (in the upper left corner).
      The Adobe Digital Editions library is displayed.
    4. Click on the e-book you want to transfer.
    5. Drag the e-book to the e-book device icon in the left pane of Adobe Digital Editions.
      The 'Copy Documents' dialog box is displayed and the title is transferred.
      When transfer is complete the 'Copy Documents' dialog box closes. Disconnect the e-book device and enjoy the e-book.
  • On a Mac, Adobe Digital Editions may not recognize the Sony Reader.  In this instance, you will need to use the Sony Reader Library to transfer the files to the Reader. 


4. Clear your downloads and information from the reader.  

  • Nook: Unregister the Nook from your desktop computer (home--settings--device--unregister your nook). Then reset the factory settings on the Nook (Device -- reset to factory settings). This deletes all B&N content as well as personal content from the internal memory.
  • Sony: Unregister the Sony from your desktop computer. Next, reset the factory settings on the Sony (home -- settings -- restore defaults). You must manually delete downloaded books.

5. Important:  Deauthorize your computer!

Before returning the e-book reader to the library, deauthorize it.

Plug in the e-book reader to your computer, open ADE, press Control+Shift+D (Windows) or Command+Shift+D (Mac).  This will remove the activation on your device allowing you to reactivate with a different ID or the same ID next time Adobe Digital Editions is launched.  Pressing Control+Shift=E will bring up the "Device Deactivation" box.  

You can only authorize 6 devices to your ADE account; if you fail to do this final step, you will not be able to authorize additional devices.

E-book FAQs

Who can read and download EBL e-books?

Students, faculty, staff, and spouses affiliated with Williams College

What devices can I download EBL e-books to?

Downloaded EBL e-books can be transferred to any portable device that supports ADE. A list of compatible devices is available on the Adobe Digital Edition website.

What devices can I download Overdrive books to?

Downloaded Overdrive e-books can be transferred to compatible devices.

Can I read e-books on my own desktop or laptop?

Yes, you will need to install Adobe Digital Editions and authorize your device. 

Can I read EBL e-books on my ipad or iphone?

Yes, you can read EBL content on the iPad or iphone as long as you have installed the Bluefire Reader and have an Adobe Digital Editions account.

Can I use my Kindle to read the library e-books?

Unfortunately, the library's e-books from EBL are not compatible with a Kindle because the Kindle is not compatible with Adobe Digital Rights Management.  Williams users can use one of the library's e-Readers to download the book.

Why when I downloaded an e-book did I received an .acsm file message?

This is the access key to your e-book.  If the .acsm file does not open automatically, you need to install Adobe Digital Editions on your device. 

I installed Adobe Digital Editions but still got an .acsm file when downloading an e-book.  What next?

Your browser or computer doesn't know what program to use to open .acsm files.  Find the file in your downloads folder, right click on file (PC) or get info (Mac), and choose Adobe Digital Edition as the program under Open with.

Adobe Digital Editions is asking me for an Adobe ID. What is this ID and why do I need it?

Adobe IDs are used to download free trials, buy products, manage orders, and access online services on the Adobe website. This ID is also used with Adobe Digital Editions to ensure that your  e-books are not "locked" on one computer. They are assigned to you through an ID, and can be viewed on any compatible device you own that you activate with that ID. If you don't have an ID, you can create one

Do I have to download an e-book in order to read it?

No, you can browse and read the book on a screen. To download, you must install Adobe Digital Editions.

How many pages can I print from an e-book?

The number of pages that can be printed is regulated by the publisher and complies with copyright law. When printing, you'll receive a message saying how many total pages are allowed to be printed and how many you have already printed from the book.

How do I clear all my information and downloads from the Nook?

First, unregister the Nook from your desktop computer (home--settings--device--unregister your nook). Second, reset the factory settings on the Nook (Device -- reset to factory settings). This deletes all B&N content as well as personal content from the internal memory.

How do I clear all my information and downloads from the Sony Reader?

First, unregistered the Sony from your desktop computer. Second, reset the factory settings on the Sony (home -- settings -- restore defaults). You must manually delete books that download.

Can I connect library e-book readers to the Williams Wireless?

Due to our network configuration, you cannot connect to PurpleAir.

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