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Is my textbook available as an eBook?

Some prescribed textbooks for your course may be available through Blackboard in electronic format. This can make accessing your textbook cheaper and easier. However, please note: 


  • Due to licensing agreements some eBooks limit the number of simultaneous users
  • There are often restrictions on the amount that can be downloaded, printed or copied. 

Why use eBooks?

  • Searchable - type your keyword/topic of interest and see EVERY page it appears on in the eBook
  • Anywhere, anytime access
  • Cannot get lost & no need to borrow
  • No possibility of overdue fees 


eBooks are digital full text versions of books that can be accessed online. 


You can read eBooks online via the "Check for availability" link in a Discover or Catalogue search. You may be prompted to login when accessing eBooks - use your USC username and password. 

Display of eBook, The Oxford handbook of human resource management in library search

After clicking 'Check for availability' you will be taken to the full record of the eBook. From here select the database link to open the homepage of the eBook in a new window.


The homepage of the eBook is important because it will prescribe what you can do with the eBook. Different rules apply to each eBook in relation to:

  • How many users can be reading the eBook at the same time
  • Number of pages you can print or save
  • If you are allowed to copy and paste text 
  • How long you can "borrow" the eBook

Quick facts about eBooks @ USC

eBooks are provided through different publishers that present and control the use of eBooks differently. Key things to know about eBooks:

  • eBook Academic Collection (EBSCO) and ProQuest Ebook Central are the major eBook providers you will see at USC
  • Digital Rights Management (DRM) is copyright protection for electronic products. It limits the loan length of the eBook, the amount of copying and printing, and the devices on which the eBook can be accessed. The DRM is set by the vendor and publisher and is why the conditions on eBooks vary from title to title. 
  • Downloading an eBook usually requires Adobe Digital Editions software and an Adobe ID
  • eBooks can present in two file formats PDF (Adobe) or EPUB format

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