Using Ebooks

Welcome to the world of e-books at the Keller Library! If you missed our workshops, here’s everything you need to get your portable electronic device set up to use e-books. You can read e-books from the web browser of any device, once you’re logged in with your Keller Library patron name and barcode.

E-books at the Keller Library? By the end of February there will be over 2,000 e-book titles in our online catalog, and by this time next year, there’ll be probably 5,000 or more.

Why use e-books instead of printed materials?

There are some real advantages!

They aren’t so heavy to carry if you have 15 or 20 books you’re using in a paper. You can do searches for words or phrases within a book, and do electronic note taking on your mobile device. You can review them and check them out from the library from the internet at any time, anywhere you have an internet connection.

They take up less space. They take up less space. THEY TAKE UP LESS SPACE in our overcrowded stacks.

Why would the Library want to get e-books?

The e-books will be added to the permanent collection of the library when we buy them.

They are produced using a standard for e-books that will not disappear, and they can be used on most platforms (there’s more about compatible devices here). Our contract entitles us to permanent access and the ability to archive a copy any time we choose.

The method of purchasing them allows the library to save money in its budget. (Even though the price of an individual e-book is usually the same as the price of a hardcover of the same book.)

Right now we own 77 e-books, and this week we will add 2,100 records for e-books we don’t own.  Our savings in e-books are because we have full access to those 2,100 books, but we don’t pay for them until someone checks them out.  We used to buy several series of expensive books, so that they would be here just in case (whether anyone checked them out or not).  We have saved the money already, so use the books that are available—not like a kid in a candy store, but as they are useful in your study and research.  The savings are built into the process, so please don’t try to game the system into saving more by reducing your research.

Some titles that we don’t own are rented automatically when you check them out. That’s because the rent is cheap. We’ll evaluate this usage and buy the book later.  Sometimes you will be notified that library staff approval is needed.  That’s because the rent is high, and we’d rather buy the books rather than rent them.  Don’t hesitate to bug the library staff when this happens!  Our goal is to get the approval through in a few minutes, and our fearless leader will be in touch with you as needed.

How can I use an e-book on my portable electronic device?

You can read e-books from the web browser of any device, once you’re logged in with your Keller Library patron name and barcode.

The very first step is to make sure you’re registered as a library patron! Just like when you use ATLA or JSTOR from home, you’ll need to log into your online library account to browse, read, or check out e-books. All students and Theological Research at a Distance folks should be registered at the circulation desk and should have logon information that includes a barcode number.

If you’re not sure whether you’re registered or have misplaced your logon information, please contact Laura Moore and she’ll get you set up. (If you’re reading this and want to become a library patron, please follow this link for more information.)

You can go to our catalog immediately and browse away with your internet connection – you can even check out an e-book that way. BUT, if you want to save or print pages, or to read offline (without an internet connection), follow the instructions below.

Step 1, preparing your computer or portable electronic device to download or print e-books. (To find out if you’ve got a compatible device, follow this link. The lower-end Kindles are not compatible with our e-books, but many other devices are.)

Choose the appropriate link to download the Adobe Digital Editions software to your PC or Mac. Save the appropriate file, accept the license agreement, choose Option 1 (mandatory) and add any other options you want. Click Install and then close when the installation is complete.

Step 2, authorizing your device to use e-books. Create an Adobe ID first, or sign in if you’ve already got your Adobe ID.

If you’ve gotten this far, you’re ready to download our e-books to your computer. Now you’ll prepare your portable electronic device.

Step 3. To access Keller Library e-books on a portable device (e.g., an iPad, a Nook, or a Kindle Fire), you need to download the Bluefire Reader. Generally, Android apps can be downloaded directly to your device, but apps like the Bluefire Reader on Apple mobile devices often have to be downloaded first to iTunes on your computer and then downloaded to the mobile device.

For Bluefire for Android devices, follow this link….and for Bluefire for Apple devices, click here to get the app. The Bluefire User Guide provides detailed instructions if you get yourself stuck.

Remember, contact the Keller Library staff if you have questions about the program or need help installing the software on your device. We’re always glad to help!


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