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Using E-books @ CityU

eBook basics

CityU Library provides access to over two million eBooks for CityU students and staff. The majority of eBook titles can be accessed both on and off campus, and many eBooks can be downloaded to a personal device to be read offline.

This guide covers the basics of locating, accessing and downloading eBooks. Please use the menu to the left to browse the guide, and please contact us if you have any specific questions.

Frequently asked questions

What is DRM?

DRM (digital rights management) is a technology used by publishers to limit copying, printing, and sharing of e-books. It is a way of securing an e-book (or other forms of digital files) so that only the person with the correct "key" can open it and use it.

Are all books in CityU Library available in digital format?

No. Not all publishers produce the e-book version of their books. Most of the e-books purchased or subscribed by the Library are accessible via e-book platforms or e-book collections.

Do I need to login? Can I use e-books at home?

CityU staff and students of courses leading to CityU awarded degrees are eligible to use CityU subscribed e-books. If you access e-books within campus, most e-book collections do not require you to login. An EXCEPTION is Books24x7 (refer to "Notes for First-time Users of Books24x7" for more).

Login using Electonic ID (EID) and AD/LAN password is required if you want to access e-books from off campus or at home.

Why do I sometimes fail to access an e-book?

Most of our e-books allow a limited number of concurrent users. If you get turned away from accessing an e-book in use, please try again in a few minutes.

Can I print or download these e-books and keep them as my own for future use?

Some E-book Collections provide printing or downloading services for you to print or download their e-books (limited by the number of pages, chapters, etc). These services are covered by copyright law and licensing agreements.

The restrictions on printing and downloading depend on the vendor/publisher of the e-book collections and may also be different for individual titles in the same collection. Refer to the "Printing and Downloading of e-books" page of this guide for more.

What is the difference between viewing an e-book online and downloading it?

To view an e-book online requires continuous internet connection, while you can do offline reading with the e-book downloaded to your PC or other compatible device.

To view an e-book online usually does not require any installation of software or setting to be done. To download an e-book, however, requires registration of a personal account on individual e-book collection sites and installation of proprietary reader/DRM software.

Why do the e-books I downloaded disappear or fail to open after a few days?

Downloading an e-book is similar to borrowing a printed book from the Library. Most of the downloaded e-books are only "on loan" to you for a certain period of time, from 24 hours to 14 days, depending on the rules set by the vendor/publisher or the Library. The e-book file downloaded will expire when the load period ends. The e-book will then "returned" to the collection automatically. The file downloaded on your PC can no longer be accessed.