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Getting Started with Ebook Central

What is Ebook Central?

Ebook Central is Portland Community College Library’s new ebook platform. In Ebook Central, you can browse and check out hundreds of thousands of ebook titles in the sciences, humanities, the arts, business, computer science, engineering, and other academic disciplines. It combines two ebook platforms you may have previously used through the PCC Library website: EBL and eBrary. The same content is still available in Ebook Central, it’s just now more centrally located.

How do I get started with Ebook Central?


  • Search for books from the Ebook Central homepage by entering a keyword, ISBN, or other terms into the search box on the homepage.
    • Pro tip: put quotes around exact keyword phrases, like “autism spectrum disorder”, to get more refined results. You can also use the Advanced Search or Browse Subjects links, located underneath the search bar, to refine or expand your search results.
  • Narrow search results by publication year, subject, and other filters. Keywords you searched for will be highlighted in the search results.


  • Learn more about a book by selecting a title or the “Table of Contents and More” button (it looks like a bulleted list) in the upper-right corner of each search result. Here you will find the table of contents, book availability for online reading and download, copy and print allowances, and bibliographic data.
  • Open a book by clicking the “Read Online” button to read, search for keywords within the book, and jump to relevant chapters. Read by scrolling or flipping through pages.
  • Learn more about how to create a citation, get a link to a specific page or book, or do more in Ebook Central.
  • FYI: you can create a Bookshelf to organize and share your research, share a book or an entire folder of books with others, or export the notes you’ve taken in a book.

If you can’t access a book

Sometimes, you may find a book that won’t allow you to use the “Read Online” and “Download” buttons (the buttons appear in gray as seen in the screenshot below) and the “Availability section” says: “All copies are currently in use. Please check back later, or search for another book.”

Ebook Central record for the ebook Musicophilia showing that the Read Online and Download Book buttons are greyed out and inactive; and showing that the Availability section says "All copies are currently in use. Please check back later, or search for another book".














This means someone else is currently using the same book and you won’t be able to access it. If this happens, wait about an hour and try to access the book again. If you’re still having trouble, contact a librarian for assistance.

How do I download books or chapters to use offline?

We’ve got a page devoted to instructions on downloading and using content offline from Ebook Central! In short: there are several ways to download (from PDF to transferring a chapter or book to your chosen device). Ebook central will even guide you through the process of transferring a book to your device once you’ve chosen the device. Please note: Some books cannot be downloaded and can only be read online. Use the “Read Online” button to access books that cannot be downloaded.

I need more help with Ebook Central.