Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wisconsin library lending out iPads

by Kelly Hodgkins
Sep 22nd 2011 at 11:30AM

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.

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