Any libraries concerned that the ebook phenomenon will render them obsolete could stand to take a cue from a Wisconsin library that has started lending iPads to members. The devices come pre-loaded with at least 1,000 classic books and are available for weeklong loans and four-hour in-library use.
Your first question may be why the library is lending out iPads rather than devices with e-reading capabilities that are far cheaper. On its page announcing the new program, the library explains that the iPad loans are as much about educating the public about technology as they are about e-reading:
The goal of the iPad lending program is to provide library customers with opportunities to gain familiarity and comfort with new technology that allows them to make use of alternative methods of enjoying the written and spoken word and to more fully explore the Internet and its vast resources.
The library paid for the 44 iPads with a foundation grant.