Wisconsin public library now lending iPads to the community

We have already seen that Apple's iPad has been used to replace bulky flight manuals for airlines, textbooks for colleges and even playbooks for pro football players. But now a public library in Wisconsin has become the first known library in the US to actually offer iPads to its users. The L.E. Phillips Memorial Library in Eau Claire, Wisconsin received a grant from the Presto Foundation that allowed it to purchase and offer 44 iPads for its community to use.

32 of those iPads can be lent out to the library's users for up to seven days while six other iPads will stay in the library building but can be used by patrons for up to four hours at a time. The remaining six iPads are to be lent out to patrons who are stuck at home for medical reasons. Each of the iPads will have 1,000 eBooks available to read, loaded by the library's staff, along with 10 audiobooks and a number of free iPad apps. Users will be able to download content and apps for the iPad on their own during the seven day lending period but when the iPad is returned to the library its staff will restore the tablet to its original state, wiping out anything that the user might have downloaded.

Hopefully this new service will be expanded to other public libraries in the US. Earlier this week, Amazon announced that its Kindle eReader and apps will be able to download free eBooks from over 11,000 US public libraries.

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16 Comments

Books can never be replaced...unless society forces them out and our offspring never recalled how cool a book was....not old books...but books nowadays, they're awesome. It's nice to have a fancy book for Pro C# and the .NET 4 Platform, it's great to have on the desk. Not some electronic PDF or other formats...just too boring.

Sionic Ion said,
Books can never be replaced...unless society forces them out and our offspring never recalled how cool a book was....not old books...but books nowadays, they're awesome. It's nice to have a fancy book for Pro C# and the .NET 4 Platform, it's great to have on the desk. Not some electronic PDF or other formats...just too boring.

Why? What is better about a physical book? I much prefer my textbooks to be ebooks.

mrp04 said,

Why? What is better about a physical book? I much prefer my textbooks to be ebooks.

A physical book doesn't require electrical power to access.

mrp04 said,

Why? What is better about a physical book? I much prefer my textbooks to be ebooks.

No glare, no battery required, and you can pass it on to someone else when you're done with it without having to worry about what kind of reader they have or what format it's in. You can drop a real book down the stairs and it'll still work. A physical book will last for decades in its original form. Real books are more personal than a computer file.

That's not to say ebooks don't have their own strengths.

s3n4te said,

A physical book doesn't require electrical power to access.

Nor does my Kindle. It happily recharges via a solar cell I picked up for less than £15.

What happens when the ipad is droppedand the screen breaks? What happens if the person turns around and sells it. This is why we havent done this here. (i am an IT guy in a library). Its just too expensive to have to replace them.

majortom1981 said,
What happens when the ipad is droppedand the screen breaks? What happens if the person turns around and sells it. This is why we havent done this here. (i am an IT guy in a library). Its just too expensive to have to replace them.

I'm sure the iPads are insured.

majortom1981 said,
What happens when the ipad is droppedand the screen breaks? What happens if the person turns around and sells it. This is why we havent done this here. (i am an IT guy in a library). Its just too expensive to have to replace them.

hope the crooks don't kill this for the honest people , i can see a few walking off and never to return or a few being busted in the 1st month. the average person doesn't gave a darn about other peoples property anymore & could care less if they broke it or not

alexalex said,

I'm sure the iPads are insured.


Does not mean the insurance company will pay you for the lost ones. Our insurance company wouldnt.

majortom1981 said,

Does not mean the insurance company will pay you for the lost ones. Our insurance company wouldnt.

Unless you pay for...wait for it...theft insurance.

majortom1981 said,
What happens when the ipad is droppedand the screen breaks? What happens if the person turns around and sells it. This is why we havent done this here. (i am an IT guy in a library). Its just too expensive to have to replace them.

Simple. You have to place a disposit.

Why didn't they just get a Sony Reader or some actually eReader where it'd probably be cheaper and used more wisely? I'm guessing some workers thought a nice shiny iPad would be nice, even thought it seems like a dedicated eReader would be a more practical solution for a public library.

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