Answered By: APUS Librarians
Last Updated: Aug 31, 2017     Views: 1213

Note:  If you're having problems accessing a required textbook, email  Otherwise, read on:

Why it happens:

When the library buys an ebook, the vendor usually grants us a limited number of licenses for it.   Each license is much like a copy of a physical book.  So, when a reader clicks a book link from our catalog and begins to read the full text, she has effectively checked out a "copy" of that ebook.   Occasionally, when all licenses (or copies) are being viewed, an ebook will be unavailable until someone checks it back in by closing their session.   


What you can do:

  • Get on the waiting list
    • In EBSCOhost, each time someone clicks the "eBook Full Text" link to read a book, a session is automatically begun, and the book will remain "checked out" (or "in use") until the session ends. If you encounter an "in use" message when trying to access a book,  you may place a hold on it and be notified when it's available. 
      • If you haven't already, you will need to create a free My EBSCOhost account.
    • In Ebook Central, you will see a “You are currently in preview mode”  message.  Click "OK" to opt to queue for the book (you will be notified when it is available).
  • Troubleshoot

If you experienced a technical glitch while viewing an ebook, this may have been caused the vendor's system to assume you are trying to access the ebook twice. To troubleshoot:  try logging out of the session, clearing your browser's cache, close your browser, and login back in with a new browser window. This may clear the session and make the ebook available for you to access once again.

  • See if another vendor provides copies

It's not uncommon for us to have licenses to the same ebook from more than one vendor.   Click here to see how you can tell if we have more than one copy.

  • Find an alternative

If you're on a deadline, you may not have time to wait for someone to check a copy of an ebook back in.  A quick way to find books on the same subject is to take a look at the subject headings listed with the book you wanted.  Click the subject that seems like the best fit for what you need, and you'll be taken to a list of very similar books!


If you need help finding a book, contact the librarians!