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Downloading ebrary Books: Home

Learn how to download ebrary books, use Adobe Digital Editions to read them, and transfer them to portable devices

We have changed ebook providers

The Alaska State Library has changed ebook providers.  We are now subscribing to EBSCO's academic collection of ebooks. 

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About ebrary downloads

Ebrary's download features allow people to read books on a home computer and some portable devices.  Here is what you can do:

  • Read entire books on your home or work computers.
  • Read entire books on some ebook readers, including Nook, Kobo, and Sony, but not the Kindle (though you can read them on the Kindle Fire). 
  • Read pdf files containing 60 pages or less from ebrary books on any device that can open a pdf, including the Kindle.
  • Read entire books on most tablets and smartphones.


What kinds of devices can I use to read ebrary books?  Desktop and laptop computers (PC or Mac), tablets (like iPad), ereaders that will read epub files (Nook, Kobo, Sony, Kindle Fire) but not Kindle.

Do I need any special software?  Yes.  You’ll should install Adobe Digital Editions on the computer you plan to use to read or transfer your ebooks to an ereader or other device without ADE.  And for devices without ADE, you’ll need an app to read ebrary's epub files. See the page titled "Preliminary steps" for more information.

What if I  can't install the software, I have a Kindle, or just need a small section of a book?  You can download pdf files containing 60 pages or less per book per session.  PDF downloads should comply with Copyright Law.  

What if I can’t install Adobe Digital Editions at work?  You have two options: (1) State Employees can contact the Alaska State Library - we can help you get set up to access ebrary from home or using a portable device through our proxy server; (2) you can  download the book to your work computer and then email it to yourself, or save it to a flash drive for installation at home.  If you donwnload to a computer at home, you should install Adobe Digital Editions at home need to install Adobe Digital Editions at home.  When you download an ebrary book to a computer without Adobe Digital Editions, you are not actually downloading the entire book.  The file type will be labeled “Adobe Content Server” and the extension will be “ascm.”  Transfer that file to the My Digital Editions folder in “Documents Library” on your home computer, then double click it.  It will download the book directly to your home computer.  See the page titled "How to Download" for more information.

Can I read a book on two devices?  Yes, you can copy the file from one device to another using a flash drive or transfer it directly to the device. You should have Adobe Digital Editions installed on any computers you plan to use and the appropriate ebook reader app on any tablet or mobile device.  You will also need to authorize both computers/devices with the same Adobe ID.  See the pages titled "Preliminary steps" and "How to download" for more information.

If I have a book on both my work and home computers, will my bookmarks transfer from one computer to the other?  I have not found a way to transfer bookmarks.  I tried transferring the annotations files associated with a book between my computers, and that didn't work.

I’ve downloaded a book.  How long will it be available to me?  14 days.  But you can download it again after that period expires.

Can I download any book I find in ebrary?  No.  Ebrary tells us that some publishers don’t allow downloads.  A list is at   But you will see no indication of this when you are looking at the book in ebrary, and, in fact, the download button will still be available (it just won’t work). 

How many books can I download?  Up to 10 at any one time.  If you want to return a book before it automatically expires after 14 days, in the “Library View” in Adobe Digital Editions, click on the arrow and then select “Return Borrowed Item.”

Can I print the whole book?  No.  You'll only be able to print a percentage of the book (about 10 to 25%).  Printing should comply with Copyright Law.

How do I know if my pdf downloads or printing will comply with Copyright Law?  Library staff can't tell you whether any particular print or download will comply with the law.  You may find the the U.S. Copyright Offices' publications titled Copyright Basics and Fair Use helpful.

How do I authorize my mobile device with my Adobe ID?  Most likely, when you open your ebook reader app (such as Bluefire Reader) for the first time, it will ask you if you want to authorize that device with your Adobe ID.  With Bluefire Reader, you can also select the "Info" button from the applications toolbar and then authorize the device with your Adobe ID.

How can I read ebrary books on my iPad?  You can find general instructions on our How to Download page.  For detailed instructions, try the YouTube video at, or ebrary's instructions at

I downloaded and opened an ebook in ePub format on my computer at work.  I then transferred the file to my portable device and got an error message indicating that a valid license was not found.  What is going on? I've had the same problem.  In my case, the source of the problem was the fact that I had authorized my work computer and my tablet with two different Adobe ID's; I had created one Adobe account for my work-related ebooks, and another for my personal ebooks.  Once I had begun using the ebook on my work computer, I could not read it on a device with a different Adobe ID.  I have not found a way to read a single protected ePub ebook on two different devices with two different Adobe IDs.