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What is an "Access Limit"?

The Library always tries to allow as many people as possible to access a given resource (in this case an ebook) simultaneously. But sometimes publishers impose restrictions that do not allow unlimited access to ebooks.  You may find an ebook you wish to use that permits only one person at a time to have access to its content.  This page shows you how to recognize those limited use titles.

How many people can use an ebook at one time?

"It depends."

What does it depend on?  It depends both on which ebook collection you use and which books within that collection you are using.

Database Unlimited Access? How many total? How many are limited access?
Ebook Central most over 200,000 about 2,000
JSTOR all almost 50,000 none
EBSCO Ebooks some about 8,000 around 4,500

Limits in Ebook Central

By far, most content in Ebook Central allows for unlimited access (i.e., many users at the same time).

Occasionally, you will find ebooks with limited access. With these titles, the library has access to a single copy, and only one (1) person may use the book at a time.

Limits in EBSCO Ebooks

Most of the ebooks in the EBSCO Ebook Collection are limited to one person at a time.

EBSCO Ebooks also contains a variety of public domain titles ("classics") that are unlimited access.