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E-books and E-readers FAQ

What is the difference between an E-book and an E-reader?

E-readers are devices created specifically to read digital text, often trying to emulate the traditional book. E-books are digital texts that may or may not be limited to specific reading devices. Watzek library offers both E-readers for checkout and E-book collections that are available on any Internet-connected device.

E-book collections

E-readers for checkout

E-book Knowledge Base
Details on E-book access, including printing, downloading, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I get E-books onto my device?

    This process is different for every E-reader. Please consult the E-reader maker's website or place from which you procured the title for complete directions. You may also want to consider downloading a free E-book management program like Calibre.

  • Can I download Watzek E-books onto my E-reader?

    This depends on the format of the E-book and restrictions enforced by the vendor. Many of the E-books available through Watzek subscriptions and purchases are available online but not for download. See vendor restrictions on our E-book Knowledge Base grid. 

  • What types of E-books can I download for my device?

    Many devices are only compatible with specific file formats. You can use this list or the vendor website to see if your device is supported.

  • Is Watzek Library able to buy E-books for E-readers like Kindle, Nook and the iPad?

    Although we do not purchase individual titles for patron's devices, we do purchase select books for the Nooks that the library circulates. Please submit your request and we will let you know if we're able to obtain that title.

  • Will Watzek purchase a textbook in digital form for me?

    Excluding rare circumstances, we are not able to purchase digital copies of textbooks for the collection.

  • Where can I find an E-book copy of a specific book?

    Please check the Watzek Electronic Texts Research Guide for a listing of available E-book sets. If you aren't able to find what you want, consider asking a librarian for further help.

  • Why can't I request E-books I find at other libraries through Summit or Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

    The contracts these libraries have with the publishers prohibit them from sharing these texts with us electronically.

Faculty questions

  • I am leading an overseas program. Can the library purchase an E-book that all students can have access to (including printing sections) while they are abroad?

    This is certainly a possibility but depends on publisher restrictions. See our E-book Knowledge Base for preliminary information and then please contact your departmental liaison to request the purchase.

  • If a book is available in print and as an E-book, which should I recommend you to purchase?

    As we purchase our E-books with several different usage rights (unlimited users at a time, three users at a time, etc.) it is difficult for us to give a generic response. Please let your departmental liaison know if you are open to both options and how you feel the book will be used; we will try our best to find a solution that provides the best possible access.

Do you have another question that isn't answered here? Ask a librarian and we'll do our best to help.

This page maintained by Nikki Williams nmw@lclark.edu. Updated 05 January, 2014.