eBooks – Bath Spa University

The library provides access to over 420,000 eBooks.

Access them via the Library Search. To read and download most of them, you will need either Adobe Digital Editions or BlueFire Reader


How do I find and access eBooks?
  1. Search via the eBooks search button on the library homepage or filter by Source Type 'eBooks' in your search results.
  2. Click on the title of the book in the search results, and 'View Online' from the next page.
  3. If asked, log in with your usual Bath Spa username and password.
  4. Read your book online, or download.
How do I download eBooks to my PC or Mac?

For the majority of eBooks, you'll have the option to read online or download. Read online is the most fail-safe way of reading the eBook.

  1. Download by clicking the icon (usually a downward arrow).
  2. For most of our eBooks you will then see a pop-up. Choose the length of time you wish to download the book for and click ‘Download’ (See the instructions in the next FAQ if you're placed in a queue).
  3. The PDF or ACSM file will be sent to your downloads folder (or whichever folder location your browser is configured to send downloads).
    • If the file is a PDF, open the book from your downloads.
    • If it is an ACSM, you will need to open the file in the Adobe Digital Editions application. 

After the download period has expired, the file will no longer open, and you'll need to access and download the book again, or read it online.

It says I’m in a queue, what does this mean?

Many of our books only allow a specific number of people to view them at any one time. If that number has been reached then you will be placed in a queue. 

Unfortunately, you cannot reserve eBooks.

EBook Central and EBSCO

  • You will receive a message saying the eBook is in use, and you will have to check back later.


  • VLeBooks will ask you if you'd like to reserve the eBook and will ask for your email address.
  • You will receive an email when the other user's loan has expired or when they have finished reading it online.
How do I download eBooks to my mobile device?

Adobe Digital Editions and BlueFire Reader are available as free apps for Android and iOS, and are required for reading the majority of our eBooks on mobile. You can search for them or use these links: Adobe Digital Editions (iOS / Android) or Bluefire reader (iOS / Android).

Can I download Library eBooks to an e-reader such as Kindle or Kobo?

Many library ebooks have Digital Rights Management (DRM) written into the eBook files, by which the books publishers protect themselves from illegal file sharing.

Most of our eBooks cannot be read on a Kindle for this reason.

You can send library ebooks with this DRM restriction to e-readers such as Kobo using Adobe Digital Editions or to the NOOK GlowLight Plus e-reader directly by following the NOOK GlowLight Plus guide.

For books without restriction on download period (books from JSTOR, for example), you can send the file to your Kindle using Amazon’s Kindle Personal Documents Service.

How long can I keep my download for?

Loan periods vary by supplier and you will often have a choice.

  • EBook Central allows 7 days.
  • VLeBooks allows 1 or 3 days 
  • EBSCO eBooks: 1-7 days for those books requiring Adibe Digital Editions or BlueFire Reader, or an unlimited loan period, but restricted to 100 pages from each eBook, for others.

There are other books classed as eBooks which don’t have restrictions (Digital Rights Management, or DRM), for example those from JSTOR, Oxford Handbooks and Routledge. These can be downloaded and kept on your PC or device indefinitely.

Can I print and copy from eBooks?

Yes, you can print and copy from most eBooks within the limits of copyright law and/or publishers’ license agreements.

How much can I print?

This will usually mean that you are able to print or copy 10% or one chapter of a book (whichever is greater), as with a printed book. You will usually be told what these limits are when you try to print or copy from a book. The supplier will retain information on how much you've already printed and/or copied. For example, if you print up to the limit in your first year, you won't be able to print any more in your third year.

How do I print?

Printing and/or copying is only available from the read online view and is not available from an eBook you've downloaded.

If you are printing an EBSCO eBook, up to 100 pages of a title can be printed per user in PDF format. More information can be found on EBSCO's help pages.

Can I make notes on my eBook?

It is possible to make notes if you're reading an eBook online. 

You can also use our referencing software Refworks to manage your readings and research notes from all our eBooks and other resources. 


VLeBooks works much the same way. Select 'Add notes' at the bottom left. Notes autosave while you're in the eBook and are viewable in the left-hand menu. However, you may want to export them via the notes button at the top-right before you exit the eBook.

EBook Central

To add a note, you must be signed into your Bath Spa account. Then click on the sticky note icon on the top righthand menu.

Which read aloud options are available for eBooks?

Adobe Digital Editions is compatible with JAWSNVDA, or Window-Eyes on Windows and VoiceOver on Mac.

For eBooks that are DRM-free (i.e. do not require Adobe Digital Editions or BlueFire Reader), the Adobe Reader has a Read Out Loud Text-to-Speech tool which can be used with ebooks you have downloaded.

In addition, all computers in the Library and Learning Commons have screenreader software installed called 'Read and Write Gold'.

'Read and Write Gold' doesn't work in the 'Read online' view. You must first download the eBook to your computer.

Read and Write Gold provides an excellent beginner's Guide to get you started.


Why don't you have this ebook? You can buy it on Amazon.

We can only buy ebooks that are licensed for use in universities.

Some ebooks are only available for individuals to purchase, or have very expensive licences that we can’t afford, or restrictions on how they can be used which make them unsuitable for what we need.

eBook help by supplier

We buy eBooks from several different sources.

Identify the eBook supplier you have reached and find their guides below:

JavaScript disabled or chat unavailable.

Contact us



Edit section | Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk