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VitalSource e-textbooks can be accessed through Blackboard courses, the My Blackboard dashboard, or an individual device if the eTextbook has been downloaded by the user. The VitalSource platform is part of the UMBC Bookstore Course Materials Initiative, which began in SP2016 with phase one.

Tell Me

  1. Click on an existing eTextbook link in the course.
  2. ALL USERS: You will need to synchronize your VitalSource account to your Blackboard account. If you do not have an existing VitalSource account (formerly CourseSmart), you will need to create one.

Creating a VitalSource Account

  1. Agree to the Terms of Service.

  2. Next, fill in the fields for the VitalSource account. Using a UMBC email address is recommended, but not required. Depending on your eTextbook licenses through the Course Materials Initiative or previous textbooks purchased, VitalSource can be used beyond your academic career here at this institution. You may use any email address as long as you have access to it.

  3. NOTE: If you opt to skip account creation, you may not have access to all of the features within the Bookshelf platform.

Signing in to an Existing VitalSource Account

  1. Sign Sign In at the top of the registration window.

  2. Enter your existing credentials. This allows Bookshelf to synchronize with your Blackboard account at UMBC.
  3. If prompted, accept the update to Bookshelf platform.

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