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Electronic Books: Hoover Library eBooks

Resources for finding eBooks.


The Hoover Library has an extensive collection of eBooks made available through our databases and individually through eBook vendors.

Unless you are specifically looking for an eBook, it is more likely that you will find a book that you are interested in that happens to be in digital form, and you may have questions about how to use it.

You may also be assigned to read or use an eBook in a class, and have questions. You may also be looking for an eBook for your own leisure reading, if you own a Kindle or other eBook reader.

Individual titles from eBook vendors such as EBL and ebrary are listed in the catalog, and eBooks included within databases are searchable within each database. eBooks will also be found in Research Starter.

These collections cover a variety of disciplines including business, economics, technology, engineering, humanities, arts, and science. This guide has been created to assist students in searching for, accessing, and downloading digital content through the library's homepage.

What is an eBook?

An electronic book (also e-bookebookeBook, digital book) is a book made available in digital form and designed to be read using special eBook software, some of which preserves the book’s original layout and design. eBooks can be read on a variety of devices such as PCs and laptops, tablets and smartphones, and dedicated eBook readers such as the Kindle. 

Navigating the wide variety of eBook formats and platforms can be confusing. (the University of Illinois has a nice comparison chart.) There are a number of considerations - see the FAQ section below for answers to common questions.

FAQs about eBooks

How do I access eBooks?

Hoover Library eBook collections are available to McDaniel students, faculty, and staff 24/7 through the library's homepage and online catalog. There are also many collections of free eBooks that are available to anyone. A selection of these can be found in the "EBooks on the Web" tab. Also in this tab are collections of eBooks available to Maryland and Pennsylvania residents who have library cards for public libraries in their states.

Can I download an eBook?

It depends. Open access eBooks can usually be downloaded in their entirety. For paid collections , some publishers have very strict limits on printing and downloading. You might be able to save a few pages or copy a short section and paste it into a document. Some publishers allow downloading of an eBook or book chapters. Sometimes you can download the eBook to an iPad or other device. With some eBooks, chapters or sections open as separate PDF documents. You can usually save these documents. Even within a collection, some titles may be restricted, while others are more open.

How can you tell if the eBook is downloadable? When you have the eBook open on your computer, look around the screen for links to information on downloading and look through the command menus for downloading/saving options.

Download options for specific eBook platforms:

Can I print from an eBook?

As with downloading, it depends. You can print some pages of some eBooks. Look for the print icon in the reading view or the PDF file. eBooks are subject to copyright and use restrictions. For example, you will see a warning message from ebrary if you try to print more pages than is allowed. 

Printing options for specific eBook platforms:

Can I copy from an eBook and insert into my paper or presentation?

There are two parts to this question - a) the technical aspect of copying, which can be restricted on some eBooks, and b) the proper use of materials in scholarship - in this sense, an eBook is no different than any other source - it must be properly used and cited.

eBooks in Research Starter

Why does an eBook display as "Non-circulating" in Research Starter, and how do I access it?

Since eBooks are not "signed out" as traditional books are, they display in Research Starter with a status of Non-Circulating:

research starter ebook display


However, if you click on the "Access E-Resources or place request" link, you'll be taken to the catalog record where you can then access the eBook:


There will be times when a title listed in Research Starter may not be available - titles in eBook collections do change from time to time. If the eBook is not available, clicking the Research Starter link will take you to the interlibrary loan request form. Remember that accessing eBooks from off-campus will require your McDaniel user ID and password.

General tips for finding eBooks in the catalog


There are many eBooks in the catalog that are not part of one of the collections listed above. To find eBooks in the catalog, simply search as you normally would. You can use any search option (keyword, title, author, etc.) Limit the results to eBooks as follows:

  • Click on "More SEARCH LIMITS"
  • Under "Collections" choose "HL eBooks"
  • Click the "Set Seach Options" button
  • To get rid of this setting, click on the "Reset" link that's highlighted in yellow

eBooks in the catalog that are not accessible

As the Hoover Library shares the library catalog with the Carroll County Public Library and Carroll Community College, you may find eBooks that you cannot access because they are owned by one of these other libraries. Of course if you also are a student at CCC or have a CCPL library card, you can access their eBooks as well as those at McDaniel.

For example, if you see this: 

 Web Link - Online access. Carroll Community College only. Carroll Community College patrons, click to view online.

That indicates that the title is only available to CCC students.

Hoover Library eBooks and eBook collections

The Hoover library has five main collections of eBooks that are listed in the catalog. Each eBook collection has different ways of displaying content and different restrictions on what can be done with it. Use the Help links to learn more about the specifics of using each collection. These collections are a mix of titles that have been individually purchased by the library and titles that are part of a larger subscription package.

For eBooks that are part of a database, on a specific topic, or for leisure reading, see the "eBooks on the Web" tab. eBooks can also be found when searching in Research Starter.


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