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The purpose of this guide is to help you locate and use downloadable eBooks available from Albertsons Library.

What is an eBook?

An eBook is the electronic counterpart of a printed book, which can be viewed on a desktop computer, laptop, smartphone, tablet or e-book reader (e-reader). 

  • Albertsons Library offers over 430,000 eBooks for Boise State University students, faculty, and staff. The collection is comprised of a variety of subjects and provided by many different suppliers and publishers.

  • eBooks can be accessed 24/7 on different mobile devices with an internet connection.

e-Book Formats

eBooks come in many formats. Some of the most popular formats are:

  • PDF (.pdf)  - A very popular eBook format from Adobe which most eReaders support. 
  • EPUB (.epub) - An open eBook standard created by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). It features reflowable text, inline images and the ability to use Digital Rights Management (DRM) such as Adobe Digital Editions.
  • Kindle (.azw) - Native format for Amazon's Kindle products which typically comes with DRM protection to limit sharing.
  • MobiPocket (.mobi) - A format primarily designed for PDAs and older mobile devices. Also used on the Kindle.
  • Text (.txt) - A basic plain text format which is easy to create, but cannot contain images.

How do I find an eBook?

Find your desired eBook using the  Albertsons Library Catalog:

Click on Books, videos and more...enter a keyword, title, or author under the "All" tab of WorldCat Discovery, or refine your search to "ebook" under "Format." 

Search for a title using this search eBooks box. It will refine selections to eBooks only. Try it out!


How do I use eBooks?

Find information on:

  • Albertsons Library's eBook Databases, contains a list of all the library's ebook suppliers. Feel free to browse the collections and discover new titles! Each page contains information for navigating the platform. Each page also has an "at a glance" chart of features and tools for that particular platform.  There are also guides and reading suggestions.
  • The page, Using eBooks on Mobile Devices, offers Help with downloading eBooks on Apple, Android, Kindle, and Rakuten Kobo devices.
  • Here is a guide to User Definitions that shows eBook access level definitions and limitations. Detailed information about allowable downloads, permissions for printing pages, and more will be on each suppliers page in the Ebooks Database. 


FAQ & Help

The FAQ page can assist with troubleshooting:

  • common eBook questions, 
  • how to locate and access ebooks with images.
  • citation basics
  • eBook account help
  • other eBook platforms that offer titles for no charge. 

For more information, you can visit The Ask Desk on the first floor, call 208-426-1204, or use library chat located on the Home Page

If a link is not working, or there are other problems with an electronic resource you may email, and one of the staff members will connect you to the correct person to resolve the issue. 


Accessing eResources

Albertsons Library purchases or subscribes to a wealth of electronic resources that are available to students, faculty, and staff to support student success and research needs. Users can access those resources by ensuring they authenticate as an affiliate of Boise State University. 

Access resources on campus

Most library resources can be accessed while on campus by IP authentication. This means that we have supplied an IP address range to the vendor that will allow users to access eBooks, databases, and journals from a campus computer.

Access resources off campus

Library users can utilize the library's electronic resources off campus and 'on the go' by authenticating as a Boise State University affiliate via our proxy server. Links provided in our WorldCat Discovery (library catalog), A-Z Journals list, A-Z Databases list, or subject guides will include a proxy prefix before the resource URL that prompts users to authenticate with Boise State University credentials to access materials.

Other Access Methods

Some electronic resources require users to create a username/password account with their Boise State University email. These resources can be identified on the A-Z Database list with an orange Registration Required identifier. Please note the specific access instructions for those databases.

What does "Find It?" button do?
Find It button that is embedded in library resources to locate materials

When searching a database, the Find It button may indicate that full text is not directly available. Clicking the Find It button will direct users to our A-Z Journals list and search Albertsons Library holdings for the article. 

ProQuest Central search:

The Boise State University Find It button identifying an article that is not full-text in ProQuest Central database

Find It button results in A-Z Journals list:

Troubleshooting Tips

If you are still experiencing problems after you have authenticated with your Boise State University credentials, there may be a technical issue or difference in coverage preventing you from accessing content. Try the following tips to troubleshoot the issue. If you are still having issues accessing electronic content, please submit a Report a Problem form, and library staff will investigate the issue. 

Are you experiencing a paywall?

A paywall means that you are being denied access and often being prompted for payment to read an article or eBook. Check the following:

  • Be sure you have authenticated.
    • You will often see 'Access Provided by Boise State University' on many platforms if you have authenticated via IP address or the proxy server. You will also notice BSU's proxy prefix in the URL ( If you don't see these indicators, review the process in this guide for adding an EzProxy Bookmarklet to your browser bookmark bar. The bookmarklet allows users to quickly add proxy information to the webpage and authenticate using BSU credentials. 
  • Review the library's paid coverage for the journal.
    • In some cases, the library will only have coverage or access to a specific number of issues/years. Search WorldCat Discovery or the A-Z Journals list to ensure the article is included in that coverage.
  • Is the link from an old bookmark?
    • Vendors may update URLs to library resources which can result in old bookmarks to articles or journals presenting errors. Make sure to update your bookmark links with persistent URLs (PURLs). Visit the Persistent URLs in Databases guide to learn more.

Are you experiencing error messages or is content not resolving correctly?

  • Try accessing different browser
    • There are several browsers to choose from, such as Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. It can also be useful to make sure your browser version is current. Locate your browser's About page to see if your browser is up to date. 
  • Clearing cache, cookies, or browser history