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RAU Library e-Book FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

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RAU Library provides access to 140,000 e-books via library catalogue or Find it@RAU discovery tool which can be read on computers, ereaders and other portable devices.  The list of FAQs provides answers to some of the most common questions asked by our students.

Q. What is an e-book?

A. An e-book is a book in electronic format, readable on computers or other electronic devices

Q. Which e-book platforms does the Library use?

A. The main platforms we use are Dawsonera and Ebrary

Q. What are the advantages of e-books?

A. E-books can be accessed both on and off campus 24/7. There are no fines for e-books, and most allow a certain amount of printing, copying or downloading.

Q. How do I find an e-book?

A. All RAU e-books can be found via Find it @ RAU discovery tool on Gateway. A smaller number can be found on Heritage, the library catalogue. In both cases you can select to limit your results by type = e-book.

Q. Can I print or copy an e-book?

A. There is no simple answer to this. Generally you can print one full chapter or 5% of an e-book for individual educational or research purposes only, but many publishers are more generous than this.

E-book suppliers use DRM (Digital Rights Management) technology which automatically limits the amount you are able to print and copy.  When you try to print and copy from an e-book you can normally see what these limits are and how much allowance (if any) you have left.

Q. Can I download an entire e-book at once?

A. Yes, both platforms allow the downloading of an entire e-book – but for a limited period. Ebrary allows downloading of an e-book for 14 days to all devices for example, whilst Dawsonera currently allows downloading of many e-books for 7 days.

Q. Can I borrow an e-book from another library?

A. No, but you can request the print book through interlibrary loan if you are a final year student. Alternatively, ask if the RAU library can add a print copy to its stock.

Q. Can I download to my e-book reader or mobile device?

A. Ebrary and Dawsonera offer access to e-books on a variety of hand-held devices. Due to the large range of devices available you should check the platforms’ help guides.

Q. Where can I get help with using e-books?

A. Help guides for Dawsonera and ebrary can be found in the library and on Gateway, as well as via the platform provider. If you require further assistance please contact the library helpdesk.

Q. Do we have an e-book version of every print copy in the library?

A. No, not all print books have an e-book version available. We do try to get the e-book version for any key or recommended text on reading lists where a) they are available and b) affordable.

Q. Can we ask the Library to buy e-books from Amazon or Google eBookstore?

A. These sites only sell e-books to individuals and not to libraries.  They are not licensed for campus-wide use.  You can ask if it is possible for us to obtain a suitable electronic copy of a title by emailing us at or fill the online book purchase request form via Gateway.

Q. Do you need special software in order to read e-books online?

A. Many e-books are encoded in Portable Document Format or pdf. In order to view a pdf you need an up-to-date version of Adobe Acrobat Reader and up-to-date internet browser, such as Internet Explorer, Chrome or Firefox.

Q. Can I ‘save’ my preferred e-books somewhere?

A. Usually e-book platforms allow you to save books in “My Bookshelf” or “My Profile” or similar. Some even allow you to save your searches.

Q. How do I cite an ebook?

A. It depends on the citation style you are using. See our Harvard Reference guide for specifics. Both Ebrary and Dawsonera can generate a citation for you, as can find it @ RAU.

Q. Can I renew (borrow/download again) a title after the 14/or 7 day loan period has expired?

A. You should be able to renew (or download/checkout again) most ebrary or Dawsonera e-books. If you encounter trouble with this, please contact us and we will look into it for you.  Note that you sometimes have to wait a few hours after you return it before you can download a title you previously borrowed.




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This entry was posted on February 17, 2016 by in News and tagged , .


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