Yes, libraries have e-Books! But it’s, uh, complicated.

I love e-books! I’d check them out from my local library more often if I could, but it seems like there’s always a backlog of holds for the popular ones. Why is that? Turns out, it’s complicated. Today on Stacks & Facts, we explore why libraries sometimes struggle to meet their patrons’ demands for e-books.


Special thanks to


  • The shirt I’m wearing in this video is from Blaine Public Library, a library that sits almost right on the border of the US and Canada (on the US side)! I actually bought it earlier that day after randomly swinging by and chatting with Debby, the branch manager. I thought it was a nice color. 
  • Originally for the “Tale of Two Licenses” I was going to make a PDF of a mock e-book cover, take pics of it loaded on my Kindle, and use that as the thumbnail, but it didn’t look great. 
  • This is the first video of mine where I also added a translation of the title and description into Spanish and Chinese.

Viewer contributions

  • user quentinfool shared the following, which is an important development about Tor decided to start a 4-month embargo on e-books in libraries (that is, libraries will have to wait for 4 months after an ebook is released before they can offer it to their patrons). Definitely worth a listen:

    “Tor books recently made a radical ebook/library policy change that I found in this podcast : [Beyond the Book] An E-books Embargo For Libraries