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Michigan State University

E-books and E-readers at the MSU Libraries: Major Collections

Selected Ebook Collections

These collections support unlimited printing and downloading of PDFs (usually in individual chapters) with no simultaneous user limits for online reading.

Ebook Central and EBSCO ebooks

Proquest Ebook Central and EBSCO eBook Collection are two other major ebook platforms. Most books on these platforms have some limits on printing, downloading and simultaneous user access. 

1. Do you recommend using the "Download Book" or "Full Download" option for ebooks on the Ebook Central  or EBSCO platforms?

Generally, no. Downloading using those options gives access to a book for 7 days only. After that the book will be removed from your computer or device. To ensure access without the 7-day limit, use the Print to PDFDownload PDF Chapter  or Save Pages option if available. Reading online (subject to user limits) is always available.

Note: 1-user limit books on both platforms cannot be downloaded in full - use the PDF download/Save Pages option; 3-user limit books on Ebook Central cannot be downloaded.

2. Why do I see a “Sorry, this eBook is in use” message? 

Some books on these platforms have a limited number of simultaneous users, and the user limits for this book have been reached. 

What can I do to access this book?

a. Check if the same book is available on another platform with different use restrictions. Use the MSU Library Catalog to find all electronic versions of a book.

b. Wait and come back again. Both platforms have 30 minute inactivity time-outs.

How to “close” an EBSCO eBook so it becomes available to another user

Ebook Central: when will limited-user books become available? 

3. How do I download books from Ebook Central and EBSCO?

Note: 1-user limit books on both platforms cannot be downloaded; 3-user limit books on Ebook Central cannot be downloaded.

a) Create an Ebook Central or EBSCOhost personal account

b) Create an Adobe account.

c) To use a computer to read or download e-books, install Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) on a computer (PC/Mac)

   To read on a mobile device, download Download the Adobe Digital Editions app (or other reader) app from the Google Play Store on your Android device or from the app store on your iOS device.

d) Either search and download directly from a device OR search and download to a computer and read on the computer or transfer to a device.

4. How do I return a downloaded book before it's check-out period ends?

EBSCO Instructions

Ebook Central ebooks cannot be returned early.

Major Ebook Collections with Use Limitations

What ebook collections have access or use limitations?

For Ebook Central and EBSCO, restrictions on users, printing and downloading are listed on the book's detail page. Examples: Ebook Central and EBSCO book detail page



Account Required?

Read Online


Download PDF of book section or chapter

Checkout for offline reading of entire book on e-reader, tablet, phone?

Ebook Central (Proquest)


Yes, for 7-14 day   checkout.

No, for chapter downloads.


Varies: 1, 3 or unlimited users


Page limits determined by publisher.

Yes (image PDF).

Page limits determined by publisher.


No for single-user or 3-user books

Yes for most multi-user books.


PDF or EPub (usually PDF)

7 days





Yes. To checkout


Varies: 1, 3 or unlimited

Former Netlibrary books are usually 1 user access only.


Page limits determined by publisher.



Page limits determined by publisher.


No for single-user books

Yes for most multi-user books.


PDF or EPub (usually PDF)

3 days



(older works)

Yes. Log in with MSU NetID to print or download entire book in PDF 


Yes. Public domain works only




Clinical Key

Health Sciences

Yes. To view book in PDF format.


Unlimited users


Yes. Individual chapters (no limit)




Michigan State University