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Bookshelf by VitalSource

Vital Source Technologies, the world’s leading e-textbook provider, and Blackboard have partnered to deliver all the benefits of the VitalSource® Bookshelf® within the Blackboard Learn platform (for 9.1, SP 8 and later).

The Vital Source resources are available in English only.

As a strategic partner to publishers, learning management systems, and campus bookstores, Vital Source has been delivering an integrated, synchronized e-textbook experience across multiple device environments to institutions for more than a decade. When Vital Source is integrated with a Blackboard Learn course, their leading e-textbook platform is directly available to instructors. Vital Source has extensive experience providing:

  • Worldwide distribution of content
  • Customized, branded e-textbook solutions
  • Combined print/digital solutions
  • Integrated analytics with your institutional systems
  • Instructor usage reporting from within the course
  • Rich media and interactivity development

The integration is free for institutions and instructors to use. Student access to e-textbooks is based upon the licensing model, Tuition Inclusive or Student Choice.

Learn more at

Vital Source benefits

  • Mobile. This is the first time you and your students will be able to access both their courses and e-textbooks through Blackboard MobileTM Learn, which is available as a native application on iOS and Android devices. Bookshelf e-textbooks are configured to work with the Apple iPhone®, Apple iPad®, Apple iPod Touch®, AndroidTM, and Amazon Kindle Fire® devices, in addition to online/browser-based access.
  • Savings. You and your institutions have the opportunity to recommend a lower-cost textbook option to students.
  • Clarity. An improved reading experience allows you to direct students to the exact section of an e-textbook. This eliminates any confusion with students about required readings, leading to higher engagement in course materials.
  • Choice. You and your institution have access to a complete catalog of e-textbooks because of Vital Source and its collaboration with over 300 publishers from around the world.

Get started

After your institution's Blackboard Learn administrator has installed, configured, and made the Bookshelf by VitalSource Building Block available, you can begin using the integration in your courses. You can access the integration through Partner Content > Content Market in any content area in Blackboard Learn. You can also access Vital Source through the Content Market Tools option in the Course Tools menu.

The following resources are available to help you get started:

What do students experience?

Students can access VitalSource e-textbooks either through Blackboard Courses or Modules. To get started, students select the VitalSource e-textbook(s) and/or links that you embedded within the course. The student will be prompted to pair their user accounts and, for Student Choice models, purchase the e-textbook.

More details on the student process can be found in the Student Registration Guide for the Student Choice licensing model.