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Finding and Using eBooks

This guide highlights Union Presbyterian Seminary Library eBook collections as well as offering discovery and access instruction.

Internet Archive


Internet Archive Logo

Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library offering free universal access to books, movies, music, & computer software as well as 514 billion archived web pages.

The Internet Archive Text Archive contains a wide range of fiction, popular books, children's books, historical texts and academic books. You can download free books and texts from here as PDF and eHub formats.

The Open Library is a project of the Internet Archive. The site seeks to include a web page database for every book ever published. It holds 23 million catalog records of books, in addition to the full texts of about 20,000,000 public domain books, which are fully readable and downloadable.


Borrowing eBooks through Internet Archive:

  • How do I get set up to borrow books through  Follow these steps:

1. Sign up for an account at

2. Find a book to borrow

3. Borrow the book

Click on the book you would like to borrow. You will be taken to the item page and will be given the option to Borrow This book. Click on Borrow this Book. (If the book is on loan, you will be given an option to Join Waitlist)

4. If a BookReader edition is available, you can read it instantly online in your web browser. You will be able to read in full screen by clicking on the expand icon.

5. Some eBooks require Adobe Digital Editions (This is where you can read the books you've borrowed, manage your current loans, or return books). Get an account (If you create an Adobe account, you can access your library from a variety of locations. If not, your loans will be tethered to a specific computer or device.)

How does borrowing a book work through or The Internet Archive and participating libraries have selected digitized books from their collections that are available to be borrowed by one patron at a time, from anywhere in the world for free. These books are in BookReader, PDF and ePub formats (and Daisy for the print disabled). You can choose which format you prefer as you complete the borrowing process.  BookReader editions may be read online immediately in your web browser. No special software is required.  Books in the lending library (PDF and ePub) are managed through Adobe Digital Editions, which you may need to download to manage your library of borrowed books. For mobile devices we recommend downloading Aldiko (ios) (android) or Bluefire reader apps through your app store.

Borrowing Periods:

  •  Patrons now have a choice in selecting the loan period when they borrow a book.  Patrons can choose a short-term access for 1 hour, or a longer 14-day loan. If we only have 1 copy of a book, it is only available for 1 hour loan. If we have more than one copy of a book, it can be checked out for either 1 hour or 14 days, depending on availability.  If there are no copies available for 14-day loans, users can join a waitlist. There is no waitlist available for books that only offer 1-hour loans.

Download Options:

  • Can I download an encrypted PDF or EPUB of the book?  When patrons check out a book for 1 hour, they can only use it through the web book reader interface. When patrons check out a book for 14 days, they can either read the book through the web book reader interface or download an encrypted file using Adobe Digital Editions - the same technical protection software used by commercial publishers on their ebooks.


  • The book I want to read is only available for a 1 hour loan, but I can’t read the whole book in that time. Can I renew a book that I have borrowed for 1 hour? Yes. If there are available copies, patrons can check the book out again. Also, if a patron continues reading the book, turning pages, after the 1 hour duration has passed and there is still a copy available, the book will be auto-renewed for another hour.


For Additional Assistance

  • There is a link to "Help" at the bottom of the Open Library home page.
  • Contact Ryan Douthat at (804) 278-4217 or