Borrowable Books FAQs

What is Adobe Digital Editions?

Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) is a free piece of software that allows you to read eBooks that have DRM (Digital Rights Management) attached. After installing ADE, you will be prompted to login with or create an Adobe ID.

Once you have ADE and an AdobeID, you will be able to open and read the .acsm file that is generated when you select “Borrow this Book.”

NOTICE: In October 2014, we were notified of serious concerns around the privacy and security of reader data in Adobe Digital Editions 4, released September 8th. Adobe has updated their privacy policy to explain what information is collected when you download a book.

What is DRM (Digital Rights Management)?

Digital Rights Management, often called DRM, is technology used to control or restrict how a user acts with content.

DRM is built into many ebooks so that they can only be used by one person at a time, and for three days at a time. To enforce these rules, reading is limited to Adobe Digital Editions or a similar software that uses AdobeIDs.

Do I have to use Adobe Digital Editions?

While all books on Scholars Portal can be read using the online reader, books borrowed for offline use must be read in an application that supports the use of Adobe IDs. Adobe Digital Editions is the application that we recommend for desktop computing, and Aldiko can be used on tablets.

The step-by-step instructions for installing Adobe Digital Editions and checking out a book can be found on our Reading Books page.

Is it free to borrow books?

If your university library has purchased borrowable content, there is no direct cost to borrow and read a book. You will need to download Adobe Digital Editions and sign up for an AdobeID, but this is free.

Three days (72 hours) after the book is borrowed, it will disappear from your account. There will never be a late fee.

Can I renew a book I’ve checked out?

You cannot renew a book. Once a book has expired, it will need to be re-downloaded from the Scholars Portal Books website.

How many times can I check out a book?

There is no limit on how many times a user can check out a book.

How many books can I check out at once?

There is no limit on how many books a single user can check out at a time.

How much of the book can I print?

The amount of a book that can be copied or printed depends on the publisher, but in many cases, the amount is 20% of the book (i.e. if a book is 200 pages from cover-to-cover, you may print up to 40 pages).

Can I print my annotated PDF?

Unfortunately, printing from Adobe Digital Editions does not allow you to include notes or annotations.

Can I borrow a book on one device and read it on another?

Yes. However, Adobe Digital Editions is not a cloud-storage tool; downloading and opening a book on your laptop will not automatically add it to your iPad’s reader, even though they are both associated with the same AdobeID.

If you have opened a book onto one device and wish to use it on another, you will need to locate the .acsm file you initially downloaded. Email the file to yourself or save it to Dropbox. Now open the .acsm file on your second device. As long as your second reader is associated with the same AdobeID as the first device, your loan period will continue on both devices.

(It may be faster to return the book on your first device then borrow it out with your second one, but there is a chance that someone will check out the book in the intervening few minutes.)

Why can’t I read books on a public computer?

There are several reasons we suggest you not use these books on public computers:

  • Once you have logged into a tool like Adobe Digital Editions (ADE), it is not easy to log out. Just logging out of the computer will not log you out of ADE, which means the next person to log in may have access to your account
  • AdobeIDs can only ever be associated with six devices, and they cannot ever be ‘de-associated.’ If you open books on multiple public computers, your AdobeID will soon be locked.

Note: you can download the book at a public computer and email yourself the (unopened) .acsm file. Once you have access to a personal computer or tablet, you can open the file in your reader of choice.

Error message reads: Unable to download. Error getting License. License Server Communication Problem: E_LIC_ALREADY_FULFILLED_BY_ANOTHER_USER.

I am trying to download my book and I get an error: “Already fulfilled by another user”

This message means that in the time since you downloaded the book’s .acsm file, someone else has downloaded and opened the same file. You will need to wait until that person has returned the book to download it again. Reload the download page to see the expected date of return.

Error message reads: Unable to return. Error returning item. License Server Communication Problem: E_BAD_LOAN_ID.

What is the error “Bad Loan ID”?

This means you are trying to return a book that has already expired. The book has already been returned automatically, and you can just delete the record in your eReader without trying to return it.

Error message reads: Unable to download. Error getting License. License Server Communication Problem: E_LIC_ALREADY_RETURNED.

What is the error “Already Returned?”

You will get this error message if you try to open a book that has been previously returned using the same .acsm file (possibly because you returned a book by accident and wish to check it out again). To generate a new .acsm file, refresh the page you’re attempting to download from and click ‘Download.’

When I try to download I receive this message: E_ACT_NOT_READY Please explain.

You will need to deauthorize and reauthorize your Adobe Digital Editions.

To deauthorize your account, hold down CTRL+SHIFT+D (CMD+SHIFT+D on a Mac) from within your Adobe Digital Editions library.

What does it mean when it says my computer is authorized without an ID?

Your Adobe Digital Editions must be associated with an Adobe ID before you can borrow a book.

If Adobe Digital Editions is authorized without an ID, you will need to update its authorization status. You will be prompted to do this when attempting to open a book, or you can add your ID manually by navigating to Help > Authorization Information in Adobe Digital Editions.

If you are getting an error message while attempting to authorize (E_AUTH_NOT_READY), you will need to manually deauthorize your account. With Adobe Digital Editions open, hold down on CTRL+SHIFT+D (COMMAND+SHIFT+D on a Mac). More specific directions are available on this Adobe Digital Editions troubleshooting page.

You will then need to enter your Adobe ID credentials, or create an Adobe ID if you have not yet.