Answered By Library Staff
Last Updated: May 22, 2024     Views: 130

All of our ebooks and audiobooks can be used in a browser without "downloading," including our Libby (by Overdrive) books. However, some will require a "checkout," depending on the vendor, to show the item is in use. For example, here is a Libby audiobook and ebook, being used within a browser (not downloaded) that are "checked out": 


In contrast, Ebsco and ProQuest ebooks, allow you to read in your browser without having to check out or download. You can just close out of the window to stop your use of the item when done:

format and download options in ebsco

Clicking on the format (in the case above, EPUB) will allow you to read within your browser. The second option is to download the file to read offline.

The ProQuest platform offers a similar experience:

proquest ebook read in browser option

The benefits of not downloading (and instead using a browser tab for) a book are:

  • Not taking up file storage space on your device to store a file
  • Don't need to download software or an app (which also takes up space)
  • Can use on any device that is connected to the internet (even a phone can have a browser app!) 

The benefits of downloading an book are:

  • You can read the ebook even if you're not internet-connected (and so you're not using data)
  • If the eBook restricts the number of users who can view it at any given time, downloading an ebook, if equivalent to a checkout, means that it will be available to you throughout the checkout period and you won't risk losing access 
  • You may get notifications of the software/app where you have downloaded the book to, reminding you about due dates and renewals

The start of this video explains how to discover ebooks in the TCC Library collection as well as view in your browser without having to download. Read on below for specifics about EBSCO ebooks. 

The sections of the video may be relevant as well: Intro: 0:00 | Searching Discovery Catalog for eBooks: 0:41 | EBSCO ebook example : 2:44 | JSTOR ebook example: 6:48