Why don’t you have the eBook or eAudiobook I’m looking for?
There are several reasons we might not have electronic copies of a book – even if the library owns it in print!
First, while eBooks and eAudiobooks are cheaper than their physical counterparts for the general public, the licenses libraries must buy for these items usually cost much more than the retail price. In addition, when the library purchases a license to lend an eBook or eAudiobook, it doesn’t always last forever. Licenses typically expire after 1 year or 26 checkouts, or 2 years or 52 checkouts. Unfortunately, we simply aren’t able to buy or re-buy every eBook or eAudiobook we would like to, due to budget constraints.
Second, publishers do not make all eBooks or eAudiobooks available for libraries to license. Among other restrictions, titles may be Kindle or Audible exclusives that the library can never buy, or they may be “windowed” – that is, not available to libraries until several months after their publication date. A recent CNN article explains some of the common restrictions publishers impose on library eBooks.
Third, in light of recent restrictions on eBook sales to libraries from the publisher Macmillan, Bucks County Free Library has joined with other libraries around the country in boycotting Macmillan eBooks. This boycott affects all adult trade and children’s publishers owned by Macmillan. (A complete listing of Macmillan’s imprints is available here.) The library will still purchase Macmillan titles in print and in eAudiobook formats, because these are not affected by Macmillan’s new policy.
Nonetheless, library staff always do their best to pre-order popular titles a month in advance so our users can read the latest hit as soon as possible! Sometimes, though, a title slips past our eagle-eyed selectors. If you think this has happened, please submit a purchase request through our website and let us know!
Why is there a waitlist for the title I want? If it’s digital, can’t everyone read it at once?
Most publishers put restrictions on eBooks and eAudiobooks lent by libraries so that they mimic physical books. When the library purchases a license to lend a copy of an eBook or eAudiobook, each copy can only be lent to one user at a time – just like with a physical item.
While library staff monitor holds each week and strive to ensure there are no more than six holds per copy of any digital item, we are not always able to license additional copies of needed titles. Sometimes, an eBook even goes “out of print,” often when a new edition is released.
Is there anywhere I can find eBooks and eAudiobooks that I don’t have to wait for?
Yes! The titles provided by Hoopla are always available and never have a waitlist. This is possible because the library doesn’t directly own licenses to any of the titles in Hoopla – instead, your library card provides you with access to Hoopla’s catalog of material, and the library pays Hoopla each time one of our users checks something out.
If you’re looking for something to read right away, you can also filter your search in your other eBook app of choice to show only titles that are available now. Talk to a librarian if you need help!
The title I want isn’t available in Hoopla. Can the library buy it?
The library is not able to add titles to the Hoopla collection. The library doesn’t directly own licenses to any of the titles in Hoopla – instead, your library card provides you with access to Hoopla’s catalog of material, and the library pays Hoopla each time one of our users checks something out. As Hoopla negotiates new contracts with publishers, their catalog is always changing – so it’s worthwhile to check back to see if your favorite book, TV show, or musical artist has been added!
Why can’t I send the eBook I borrowed to my Kindle?
Amazon strictly controls what eBooks may be accessed on Kindle E-readers. Some titles in OverDrive are Kindle-compatible; if they are, you will see a “Read Now With Kindle” option when you check out the title. (Note that you can filter OverDrive searches to show only Kindle books.) Unfortunately, Amazon does not allow any other services to lend Kindle E-reader books, though they are still accessible on the Kindle Fire!
How long can I borrow digital materials from the library?
Loan periods and renewal policies vary slightly depending on the media type and the app (also called a “platform”). You never have to worry about fines on digital materials, because they will automatically check themselves in when they are due. Please check the list below to see the loan periods for each platform:
All materials: 14 days
Renewals: If there are no holds on your item, you will have the option to renew starting three days before the due date. Renewals will be for 14 days starting from the date of renewal, regardless of the original due date.
Video: 3 days
Music: 7 days
Books/Audiobooks/Comics: 21 days
Renewals: No renewals.
All materials: 7 or 14 days (patrons may change their default loan period in OverDrive’s settings)
Renewals: If there are no holds on your item, you will have the option to renew starting three days before the due date. Renewals will be for 7 or 14 days starting from the date of renewal, regardless of the original due date.
Audiobooks: up to 21 days
Renewals: No renewals on magazines, which have no due date. Audiobooks may be renewed at any time during the loan period. Renewals will be for 10 days starting from the date of renewal, regardless of the original due date.