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Click on the Elementary or Secondary/Professional eShelf links below    to get started reading today!

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eShelf Frequently Asked Questions

(Note to all users:  If you have additional questions regarding the HEBISD eShelf and its contents, please email the Coordinator of Instructional Technology Resources.)


Q:  What is an HEBISD eShelf?

A:  The eShelf is a new service that provides easy web-based access to all of our electronic books (eBooks). Users can read eBooks from any location that has internet access. The eShelf supports and promotes easy usage of your eBooks from home, in the classroom or from anywhere with access to the web. It has also been configured to allow users to login with their own specific username and password to support online checkouts and/or downloads of our eBooks.


Q:  Who can access an HEBISD eShelf?

A: All district employees and students. 

Note:  Both shelves are open to all users, but content on the elementary shelf is geared to PreK-6 and the secondary/professional shelf is geared to 7-12 and district staff.


Q:  What are the loan periods for HEB eBooks?

A:   The loan period for eBooks is determined by two factors – user access level (teacher or student) and type of book (Easy, Fiction, Nonfiction, Professional).  See the table below for loan periods:








5 titles

2 days

5 days

10 days

15 days


3 titles

1 day

5 days

10 days

0 days


Q:  Can more than one person access a Follett eBook at the same time?

A:  Only one person can read each HEB eBook at a time.


Q:  Can Follett eBooks be downloaded to a mobile device (phones or tablet devices)?

A:  Follett eBooks can be downloaded to Windows or MacOS workstations, laptops and netbooks.  They can be read on some tablet devices.


Q:  What reader software is used access Follett eBooks?

A:  When you access eBooks online, the eBook is either displayed using Follett’s Basic Online Reader®, or Follett’s Full-featured Online Reader®. Most of our eBooks are displayed in the Full-featured Online Reader. This reader supports notes, highlighting, printing, text-to-speed (Read Aloud), and copy features, depending on publisher permissions. When our eBooks are downloaded and accessed off-line, Follett’s Offline Reader® is used to read the eBook.


Q:  There are two ways of allowing patrons to access HEB eBooks: 'Online' and 'Offline (Download)'. What is the difference?


ONLINE…Reading eBooks online allows your patrons to view the eBook without checking it out. It is similar to browsing through a physical book in your library. The eBook is in use by a patron, but is not checked out. Patrons can keep an eBook open indefinitely if they continue interactivity with the title. But if a patron inadvertently leaves an eBook open and walks away, after 15 minutes the eBook returns itself to the shelf for other patrons to access. Checking out an eBook online allows your patrons to keep the book for a period of time and read it on any computer that meets the system requirements.


OFFLINE…The Offline Reader downloads the eBook file from the  eBook server to your local computer. This process checks the eBook out to you. During this time, the eBook is not available to anyone else to read online or download, and it can only be viewed on the machine to which it was downloaded.


Q:  How do users login to use features like highlighting, notes, printing and copying in the Full-featured Online Reader?

A:  When users login to those applications and then access the eBooks, they are automatically logged in the Full-featured Online Reader and have access to the features.


Q:  Can I take notes?

A:  Yes. You can take notes in both the Full-featured Online Reader and the Offline Reader. The Offline Reader allows you to create general notes, which are not tied to a specific spot in your eBook. The Full-featured Online Reader allows you to create page notes, which are tied to specific pages. Users need to login to the Full-featured Online Reader to take notes.


Q:  Can I highlight text and make a note about the highlight?

A:  Yes. You can highlight text in both the Full-featured Online Reader and the Offline Reader. Both the online and offline readers allow you to then attach a note to the highlighted text. Users need to login to the Full-featured Online Reader to make highlights.


Q:  Is there a read-aloud feature?

A:  The Full-featured Online Reader includes a read aloud feature, which utilizes your computer's text-to-speech capabilities. The text-to-speech capabilities for each book are set by the publisher. The Offline Reader does not support read aloud functionality.


Q:  What features for students and staff with special needs do HEB eBooks provide?

A:  Users can zoom in or out to make the text larger, and select from several page views to customize the view of the eBook. There are also alternate text Tool Tips that display, in words, the function of the buttons within the reader. The Read Aloud feature in the Full-featured Online Reader can also be an assistive tool.


Q:  Is there a dictionary for students to look up unfamiliar words?

A:  Yes, in both the Full-featured Online Reader and the Basic Online Reader. Simply click the dictionary icon above the book to access the dictionary and look up words. A dictionary tool is not part of the current release of the Offline Reader, but will be adding features that are important to educators and lifelong learners in future releases.


Q:  Does a downloaded HEB eBook stay on a patron’s computer after the circulation time ends?

A:  The downloaded eBook file remains on the computer, but is not accessible once the checkout period ends. To avoid confusion about what Follett eBooks can be opened, click on the trash can icon that appears when you mouse over the image of the eBook in the Follett Offline Reader to delete the expired eBook from the workstation.


Q:  What Internet browsers are supported for use with the Online Readers?

A:  Windows® Workstations  (Internet Explorer 6.x or higher and Firefox 2.0 or higher), Mac OS® Workstations (Safari 3.0 or higher and Firefox 2.0 or higher) and Linux (Firefox 2.0 or higher). 

Q:  What additional information is needed for the Readers? 

A:  The eShelf provides for three types of readers – full-featured online, basic online, and offline.  Instructions and information about each is below. 

Full-featured Online Reader
The Full-featured Online Reader is used when reading eBooks in a supported web browser. The Full-featured Online Reader is launched automatically from the HEB eShelf when reading or checking out online.  Adobe® Flash® Player 10 or higher is required to run the Full-featured Online Flash reader.

Tablet devices:
Support for browser pop-ups must be enabled.
iPad: As Adobe Flash is not available on the iPad, users will be redirected to the Basic Online Reader listed below.
Android devices running OS 2.2 or newer and have Adobe Flash installed: Open Internet browser, select Settings, uncheck Block pop-up windows.


Basic Online Reader
The Basic Online Reader is used when reading eBooks in a supported web browser but without Adobe Flash 10 or newer installed. If Flash is not detected when a Follett eBook is being opened, the user will be offered the option to download and install Flash or to proceed to the Basic Online Reader by clicking Read eBook without Flash.

Tablet devices:
Support for browser pop-ups must be enabled.
iPad: Under Settings select Safari, set Block Pop-ups to Off
Android OS devices (e.g. Nook Color): Open Internet browser, select Settings, uncheck Block pop-up windows.


Offline Reader

Once an eBook is downloaded for offline reading, the Offline Reader is used to access the eBook. You can download the offline reader from the Installation Instructions page.

Adobe® Flash® 9.0 (Adobe® Flash® Player 10 Recommended)
Microsoft® .Net 2.0
runtime environment (Windows machines only)