Use Ebook Central?

What is Ebook Central?

Ebook Central (formerly EBL), is an e-book platform that offers access to thousands of titles across all disciplines. Cowles Library provides access to Ebook Central titles with a demand-driven model; that is, the title is available in our catalog, but the Library does not pay anything until someone actually uses it. Three uses trigger an automatic purchase, at which point Drake University owns the e-book.

Find Ebook Central e-books

You can search for Ebook Central e-books in SuperSearch. When you have found a title you’re interested in, click “View this E-Book”.

You will be prompted to log in with your Drake ID and password (view screenshot). A Book Details page will appear, which provides a summary, table of contents, and other publication details. From this page, you can view the e-book online or download it to your computer or mobile device.

View Ebook Central e-books

To view the book, select the Read Online button below the cover image (view screenshot).


The Ebook Central Online Viewer will load in your browser. The Viewer allows you to page through the book, jump to a specific page (either by page number or table of contents), create bookmarks and annotations, search within the e-book text, and provides many other tools.

The Ebook Central Online Viewer is designed to work across all operating systems (including Linux) and popular web browsers (IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera). We encourage you to use the most updated OS and browser versions available to you.

Download Ebook Central e-books to a desktop computer

You will need either Adobe Digital Editions (Windows / Mac) or Bluefire Reader for Windows to read downloaded Ebook Central e-books on your desktop computer. Once you install one of these free software programs, you will need to create an Adobe ID and authorize your computer to use it.


  1. On the Book Details page, click the Download button to reveal your options (view screenshot). Some titles offer both ePub and PDF formats, others only offer PDF. Choose a checkout period between 1 and 7 days, select your format, and click the Download button.
  2. You will be asked to save a file called URLLink.acsm (view screenshot). This is *not* the e-book itself, but a license file that Adobe Digital Editions or Bluefire uses to retrieve the e-book. You can either save the file and open it with one of these programs, or select the Open with… option and use the dropdown to navigate to one of these programs. If you are using a public computer or otherwise do not have access to either program, you can save the ACSM file to a USB drive and open it on a computer that has one of the programs installed.

Once the checkout period you selected in Step 1 has elapsed, you will need to download the e-book again (there is no Renew option for e-books).

Download Ebook Central e-books to mobile device (iOS, Android)

  1. Install the free Bluefire Reader app on your device and authorize the app with an Adobe ID.
  2. Open a web browser on your device and find an e-book, as indicated in the Find section. View the e-book and select the Read Online button. Bluefire Reader will open automatically and download the e-book.

Download to an eReader (Nook, Sony, etc.)

    1. Complete the steps outline in the Download to computer section.
    2. Connect your eReader to your computer and open Adobe Digital Editions.
    3. Make sure you’re in the Library view. In the left pane, you should see your eReader listed under Devices. In the right pane, you’ll see your e-books. Drag the e-book from the right pane onto your device in the left pane. Note: Transferring an e-book to your eReader will authorize it with the same Adobe ID that your computer uses.
    4. Once the transfer is complete, you can disconnect your eReader and start reading.


Select “Help” at the top right of any Ebook Central page to access the online user guide OR select “Support/Feedback” to complete an inquiry form that will be sent directly to ProQuest for reply.