Skip to Main Content
south texas college

Downloading & Viewing eBooks: Home

Welcome to the eBooks Subject Guide. This guide is designed to help in downloading and viewing eBooks from our various databases.

What Can You Do With Our eBooks?

The library has purchased eBooks from a variety of different companies. We have over 126,000 ebooks available. Each database has its own rules and procedures for viewing and downloading content. Use the tabs above this page to find directions to each of our eBook databases for the Android, iOS, and Windows platforms. Below is the general information for each provider.

Database Downloadable? Read Offline? Mobile Friendly? Required Apps/Accounts?
Credo Reference Yes Yes Yes Bluefire Reader

EBSCO- eBook Collection

(1-14 days)


Yes EBSCO, Bluefire ReaderAdobe ID
Gale- Virtual Reference Library Yes (entry by entry)  Yes Yes No required apps but recommended view with Bluefire Reader
Project Muse Yes (chapter by
Yes Yes No required apps but recommended view with Bluefire Reader
ProQuest Ebook Central  Temporarily 
(varies by title)
Yes Yes Bluefire ReaderAdobe ID
Science Direct-eBooks Yes  Yes Yes Bluefire Reader for Android users
O'Reilly Safari (Please use Google Chrome)  No. Only viewable online No Has both mobile optimized and non-optimized options available No required apps

Psychiatry Online – DSM Library

No. Only viewable online No Not mobile optimized,
but usable
No required apps
Encyclopædia Britannica No. Only viewable online No Not mobile optimized,
but usable for Android. iOS users must request Desktop site
No required apps
Oxford Reference No. Only viewable online No Not mobile optimized,
but usable
No required apps

If you are trying to access any database from off-campus, please sign in to the Library’s proxy server first. You can get there by clicking the My Accounts link on the Quick Links toolbar on the left side of the Library’s homepage and then by clicking the Access Databases Off-Campus link to sign in to the Proxy.

Required Apps

For many of the databases, you will need an Adobe Digital Editions ID and the BlueFire Reader app. Both are free products and will allow you to view e-materials that can be checked out. 


Contact Us

Visit the Hours and Contacts page to see how you can get in touch with a librarian to assist you with your research.

Hours & Contacts

Ebook Pros and Cons


  • Portability  – Most e-book devices can hold literally hundreds or even thousands of e-books in their memory. That's a lot less weight to lug around in your backpack.
  • Instant gratification – Ever wait until the wee hours of the evening to look up that book you need for your research paper? A nice thing about e-books is that you have access to them 24/7 so you can get the book even when the library is closed.
  • Search Capability – Entering your keywords in a search box is way quicker than flipping through pages of print.
  • Savings – When a hardcover paper book and an e-book of it come out at the same time, the e-book version is usually priced lower. It also tends to be less expensive for a library to store and maintain an e-book collection.


  • Requires Special Equipment – All you need to read a print book is the book and some light. Not so with e-books. Whether you use an e-book reader, computer or mobile device–you need some sort of electronic equipment to read an e-book. These devices can be costly and they all require power to function.
  • Format Compatibility – Publishers use a variety of different formats for e-books. Some are available as PDFs, others as HTML, and there are those that are compatible with a particular type of device (iPad, Kindle, etc). Some formats have clunky navigation or may not be comtible with your device.
  • Digital Rights Management (DRM) – Sometimes e-books may not be downloaded or only a small portion may be printed.  
  • Doesn't Smell Like a Book – Some book-lovers simply prefer the look, feel, weight, and yes, smell—of a paper book.