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E-Books at Okanagan College

E-Book FAQs

1. What does it mean when a library e-book says “Sorry, this e-book is in use” or doesn’t let me view it?

2. Why can't I keep the e-book longer?

3. Why can't multiple people have the same e-book checked out, or just save the PDF?

4. Can the library order ebooks from Amazon?

5. I found an e-book that my friend might like. How can I send it to them?

6. How do I cite e-books?

e-book cartoon

 

1. What does it mean when a library e-book says “Sorry, this e-book is in use” or doesn’t let me view it?

When the library purchases e-books, they come with license terms. Sometimes, these terms limit the use of the e-book to one person at a time. If we see that an e-book is getting a lot of “turnaways” (people getting denied access to the e-book), we will look into purchasing extra copies. If you get this message, the e-book could be available soon if someone is just viewing it, or it could be unavailable for up to a week if someone has checked it out.

2. Why can't I keep the e-book longer?

This is because of those license terms. You can check the book out again once your check out period has ended, however.

3. Why can't multiple people have the same e-book checked out, or just save the PDF?

Publishers apply these limitations to library e-books sometimes because they are trying to imitate the print world limitations (there are not unlimited copies of print books). Libraries, publishers, and vendors are still figuring out what the best business model is for library e-book purchasing so there will be a lot of change and variety still to come.

4. Can the library order ebooks from Amazon?

We cannot order e-books from Amazon. All e-books come with license terms saying what the buyer can do with the e-book, and Amazon's license terms state that their e-books can only be used for "personal use." Libraries would be sharing the e-books with many people, so we would be violating the terms of the license.

If you have an Amazon e-book in mind, it may be available through library purchasing channels. Send an email with the bibliographic information for the book to the Web Services Librarian.

5. I found an e-book that my friend might like. How can I send it to them?

You can send them a permalink to the item page, which will link to the e-book's information and the PDF and Download links. The permalink is different than the URL in the address bar, so be sure that you find the correct link.

6. How do I cite e-books?

APA

MLA (scroll to electronic book with URL from library database)

Chicago (scroll to halfway through page 3)

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