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Ebooks@UGA: FAQs

A guide to finding, reading and downloading ebooks at the UGA Libraries

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Frequently Asked Questions

What if I need an eBook that the UGA Libraries doesn't have access to?

The UGA Libraries may be able to purchase an eBook for your class readings, papers, or projects. Please fill out the Suggest a Purchase form. Some e-textbooks and other eBooks are excluded from purchase by libraries.

Can I download a library eBook to my Kindle?

Maybe.  If you have a Kindle Fire, you should be able to download the Bluefire app, and then download books to the app.  See the tab above for Mobile Devices.  Library eBooks are mostly ePub files, which are not compatible with other Kindles. (PDF files are compatible.)

How do I find eBooks?

eBooks are available in the library catalog

Can I check out devices?

The UGA Libraries and the MLC circulate laptops.

What does one simultaneous user only mean?

That means that only one user can download the title at a time.  You should still be able to read the book online, even if it is currently "checked out" by another user.

 What is DRM?

DRM--What does this even mean? DRM is Digital Rights Management and, according to the American Library Association, is "The purpose of DRM technology is to control access to, track and limit uses of digital works. These controls are normally imbedded in the work and accompany it when it is distributed to the consumer. DRM systems are  intended to operate after a user has obtained access to the work. It is in this “downstream” control over consumer use of legitimately acquired works that DRM presents serious issues for libraries and users." Basically, DRM controls whether you can download it and how you can use it, similiar to licensing.            

What about copyright?

According to a working paper from the US Copyright Office, users may not make changes to eBooks. Users may not change the format from, say, Kindle to Nook. If you change the formatting to open an eBook on a device for which it was not designed, please understand that you do so at your own risk.      

Just because you can copy many pages from an eBook, it doesn't mean you are legally allowed to. What guidelines should you follow when saving material? How can you find out what is legal and what isn't? The University System of Georgia's Board of Regents has a page to answer these questions.  Fair Use is the term used to describe materials that may be used for research and study and still remain within the law. Fair Use is not a perfect definition, so, again, please be advised that when you copy any portion of copyrighted material, you do so at your own risk. Below are some "rules of thumb" to use when you're considering copying materials:

  • The date of the original work--Copyrighted materials are generally dated from the dates of the life of the author PLUS seventy years.
  • Is it a published work?--Fair Use. 
    • Unpublished works or creative works such as novels, poetry, films, etc tend to NOTqualify for Fair Use.
  • Is the copied material for scholarship? If yes, it's "weighted" toward Fair Use. 
  • Is it a small portion (10% or less) of the complete work?  If yes, it's "toward" Fair Use.
  • Decidedly small portion is copied--Fair Use

As you can see, the "rules" are more along the lines of guidelines. Consult  the pages mentioned above from the Board of Regents. You may also consult with UGA's Office of Legal Affairs for particular questions.


Need more help? Ask a librarian by chat, by email at, or in person at the reference desks at the Main or McBay Science libraries..                                                                                                                                                                         



To use our GALILEO databases, e-journals, and e-books from off-campus and some UGA wireless networks, you'll be prompted to log in with your MyID and password. Your MyID is your UGAMail address minus the ""

Forgot your MyID and/or password?

Don't have a UGA MyID? Visit or contact Access Services to find out if you are eligible to have a library account created for you:

phone: 706.542.3256