"Sorry, this eBook is in use" -- why can't I read this e-book?


Many of our e-books have user limits: only 1 person at a time can be reading the book. (These limits are set by the book's publisher, not by the Library.) When you try to read a "single-user" book that someone else is reading, you'll get an error message until they are done with the book.

How can know when a book is available?

Some of our ebook vendors have hold queues -- you can add your name to the queue by (1) registering for a free account and (2) adding yourself to the queue. 

If another patron is reading online, the book generally becomes available when the system observes 30 minutes of inactivity. So if someone is reading online for 2 hours, the book will become available for other users in 2.5 hours.

If the book has been downloaded, the book will be unavailable for 1 week. This is similar to a print book being checked out.

Can E-Resources make a book available?

  • We can provide information about the usage limits on a book. So we can tell you if a book is single-user, limited to 3 users, or available for unlimited use.
  • We can NOT "recall" or "force a return" of an ebook, sorry. If an ebook is in use, we recommend adding your name to the hold queue (if available) or checking back regularly to see if the book is available.

More questions about ebook usage? Contact us using our Report a Problem form.


  • Last Updated Jul 15, 2020
  • Views 228
  • Answered By John Kimbrough

FAQ Actions

Was this helpful? 1 2