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Why do I have to put holds on downloadable e-books? It seems they should be available on demand.

Why does the Maryland Digital eLibrary / OverDrive have waiting queues?
Last Updated: Jun 20, 2017  |  1716 Views

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Libraries must pay for each downloadable copy of our e-book titles.  As with our hard-copy books, we can lend a copy to only one person at a time.  License agreements between publishers, e-book platform vendors, and libraries govern these policies. 

Publishers are very concerned about their sales and about piracy, as are authors, who deserve fair compensation for their work.  In a rapidly changing environment and industry, MCPL will do everything we can to continue providing the library services our patrons need.

Please note:  In addition to downloadable e-books, MCPL also offers e-books that are read on your computer's browser.  These include computer, technical, and business books from Safari Books Online and reference books from Gale Virtual Reference Library.  These titles are always available.  See more about MCPL's e-books

Furthermore, public domain titles (whose copyright has expired) are freely available for immediate download from the Maryland Digital eLibrary site as well as from sites such as and the Internet Archive.

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