The public library in Eau Claire, Wisconsin has launched a program that lets customers borrow iPads instead of books. Each iPad is packed with over 1,000 eBook classics, ten audiobooks and a bunch of apps. The iPads can be rented in the library for four hours at a time or taken home for up to seven days.
The library has 44 iPads that were purchased with a grant. Library director John Stoneberg looked at different tablet and eReader alternatives for this program, but chose the iPad because of "its place as a tablet computer marketplace leader and its flexibility in providing more access to library-related content than an e-reader-only device."
If the library can ensure the tablets are not easily broken or stolen, then this may become a model program that could spread to other libraries.