IPads can be borrowed from a Wisconsin library
The L. E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire last week began lending out 32 first-generation iPads for weeklong stretches to cardholders "in good standing." Six others are available for homebound cardholders for 28-day periods, while an equal number can be borrowed for use within the library itself.
The tablet computers are preloaded with about 1,000 e-books, including classics such as "Pride and Prejudice" and "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," along with assorted audiobooks and apps.
Purchased with a grant from the Presto Foundation, the tablets are a way to keep the library "current," said Mark Troendle, assistant director at the library.
"We wanted to provide another avenue to access content, especially for people who couldn't afford the technology themselves," Troendle said.
The iPads aren't locked, so theoretically, patrons can download whatever they wanted onto the devices, which are wiped upon return, Troendle said. Customers can also check out Kindle e-books from the library and make suggestions about useful apps that should be permanently added to the iPads.
And with such an expensive device, the penalty for failing to return one is steep. The overdue fee is $10 a day. After 10 days, don't even bother bringing the gadget back -- the library is going to charge you the "full replacement cost" of the iPad, along with accessory items. Approximate price: $1,000.
Left photo: Books from centuries ago displayed in a cold room at Singapore's National Library. Credit: Roslan Rahman / AFP/Getty Images
Right photo: Moises Starkman, 58, a global economics professor at Honduras' private technical university UNITEC, shows a photograph of coffee field. Credit: Edgard Garrido / Reuters