eBooks: Reading Online vs Downloading

The library has thousands of eBooks that can be accessed by registered students and staff through StarPlus .
In addition to the assistive technology software available on our Assistive Technology PCs there are also some accessibility functions available on the eBook platforms themselves.

eBooks can either be read online on the eBook platform or downloaded to Adobe Digital Editions which is available on University Managed Desktops via the Software Centre.
It is usually recommended that you access eBooks via the read online option as this allows you to you to:

  • Add personal notes.
  • Notes can be tagged to any page of the eBook.
  • Each time you login your notes will automatically appear.
  • Access your account from any computer anywhere.
  • Access your eBook on multiple devices.

eBook platform accessibility functions

Publishers provide access to their eBooks via different platforms that each have their own accessibility functions. The main eBook platforms that you are likely to use and their accessibility functions are listed below.

Internet Browser Accessibility Functions

Regardless of the platform, the internet browser you are using also has its own accessibility functions.

You can also check out Ability net’s website ‘My computer, my way’ for help in making your computer or device easier to use.

Using Zoomtext with eBooks

Zoomtext is Assistive technology software that is available on some of our bookable PCs. Please follow the link below to find out more about accessing Zoomtext and its accessibility functions:

Using Screenreaders with eBooks

A screenreader is a form of assistive technology that allows users with visual impairment to have the text read aloud to them. Our users can access Read & Write and ClaroRead. Please see the links below for basic instructions on how to use the screenreaders with different eBook platforms and with Adobe Digital editions:

Printing from eBooks

Most platforms will allow you to print a percentage of the eBook. Find out more below:

Downloading an eBook

Most eBooks can be downloaded to Adobe Digital Editions which is available on the University Managed Desktops. If you wish you can download Adobe Digital to your own PC or device - including PCs, laptops, Macs, Apple devices, most android devices (including Kindle Fire), and most eReaders (but not a Kindle reader).
Rules on downloading books vary by publisher. Some have limits on download time and some on concurrent users.

You can also find more information via our FAQ

Full download vs Chapter download

Some platforms allow you to download chapters as a PDF. You don’t need to have Adobe Digital Editions installed to do this:

Using the StarPlus eShelf

The StarPlus eShelf is a useful tool that allows you to save and organise your resources, (including eBooks) so once you have located them you don’t have to search for them again.

More eBooks help