In the very near future, students are likely to expect their universities to provide seamless access to e-books through online library catalogues and virtual learning environments. A paradigm change in terms of the format of books, and especially textbooks, which could have far-reaching impact, is on the horizon. Based on interviews with a number of key informants across several universities in the UK, this paper identifies a number of challenges associated with the creation of the essential metadata to support smooth access to e-books within universities. These challenges arise both from internal acquisition and cataloguing processes within libraries, and from the nature and quality of vendor's e-book metadata, and variously impact on the location of and access to e-books. Access is further hindered by authentication controls, digital rights controls and missing links. e-Book vendors and publishers, librarians and educational technologists need to work together to resolve these issues. In addition, there is scope for further research into the issues associated with providing access to e-books.