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How to use eBooks: Having trouble accessing an eBook?

Mae'r canllaw hon hefyd ar gael yn Gymraeg 

Why can't I access an eBook?

In some cases only one person at a time can look at a particular ebook.

Sometimes for reasons of cost or availability, we can only provide access to ebooks which cap the number of simultaneous users.

Here's an example of a ProQuest ebook capped at 1 concurrent users 

At times of high demand, this cap can lead to waiting lists.

Screenshot of the message returned by the EBSCO ebook platform when all available copies of the book are in use. The message reads 'Sorry, this ebook is in use'. The message invites users to sign in to the platform to place a hold on the ebook.

Depending on the provider, you may be given the option to make a reservation or join a queue by supplying your email address if the maximum number of readers has been reached.

Waiting times vary depending on number of readers in the queue. If you are not given this option you can try again later. (If the problem persists please notify library support and we will investigate whether we can purchase additional licences)

When the eBook is available you should be notified by email and you will be able to access the title.

Helping others

The University of South Wales purchases eBooks with a range of different licences. Depending on the licence, access to an ebook may be limited according to the number of concurrent users, the total number of times it can be accessed, or the length of time it is made available (e.g. one year).

In order to facilitate access for all, please be considerate when using eBooks that are restricted in this way.

For example:

  • If you only need to use the eBook for a short period of time (e.g. to check references), consider using the 'read online' function, if there is one, rather than downloading.
  • Ensure that you close your browser when you have finished reading online.
  • If you only need to read part of a book, there is sometimes the option to permanently download a chapter or section to pdf. This type of downloading will not block others from accessing the ebook.


Logged in to FINDVintage Hints and Tips - Double Glazing Herefordshire - Perfect Choice -  Often the old tips were the best!it and still having problems accessing an eBook? 

Here is a couple of things you could try:

Try clearing the cache of your computer. Search on an different browser help pages.

Try using a different browser. We sometimes experience compatibility problems between certain platforms/browsers. 

Have you downloaded the e-book?  Make sure you have Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) installed otherwise you will not be able to open the book. Some Android devices are not compatible with ADE. Other compatible apps are available on the Google Play Store including PocketBook Reader

Contact us

Contact library support with the details of the book you are trying to access.  A screenshot of the error message is also really useful. 

or post a query or comment on the Library Chat

English - LibAnswers or

Feedback | University of South Wales.

Your subject librarian is also here to help so please don't hestiate to contact them direct Faculty librarians | University of South Wales